Penghu County Government Witnessed a Historic Moment as They Participated in the Naming and Launching Ceremony of a New Ferry in Penghu
On the 4th of May at 10:35 am, the naming and launching ceremony of the "Penghu Ferry," a passenger and cargo ship, took place at Setodachosawa in Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan. The Maritime Port Bureau's Director General, Hsienlung Yeh, presided over the naming ceremony, and the county government was invited to witness the occasion. The county government was represented by Deputy County Magistrate Chiehhsing Lin and several other distinguished guests were in attendance, including Mr. Kosaku Hara, president of Naikai Zosen Corporation, Chunglin Chiu, general manager of Taiwan Navigation Co., Ltd., Weichun Hsieh, chairman of CR Classification Society, Chihwen Cheng, CEO of CR Classification Society and Chiyi Chang, president of Taiwan Design Research Institute.During the ceremony, Mrs. Shuchu Li, the wife of Director General Yeh, was invited to launch the ship. The ship was officially launched after the supporting ropes were cut, symbolizing a safe and prosperous journey for the new vessel.In his speech, Deputy County Magistrate Lin highlighted that the Taihwa Ferry, which is currently serving the Penghu-Kaohsiung route, is over 30 years old. Penghu residents have long awaited a new ship, and the project was approved by President Ingwen Tsai, supported by Legislator Yao Yang and outsourced by the Maritime Port Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation.Deputy County Magistrate Lin expressed his gratitude to Director Yeh of the Maritime Port Bureau for utilizing the DBO (Design-Build-Operate) model, allowing a company to construct and operate their ship. The new ship has a larger total tonnage than the Taihwa Ferry, providing more comfortable passenger space and an increased number of beds for up to 300 passengers. The number of vehicles it can carry has also been increased to 80 small cars, alleviating the shortage of parking spaces experienced on the Taihwa Ferry. Deputy County Magistrate Lin also expressed appreciation to Japan's professional "Naikai Zosen Corporation" led by its President Kosaku Hara for constructing the new ship on time and with excellent quality. It is anticipated that the new ship will be delivered smoothly in August of this year. Additionally, Deputy County Magistrate Lin thanked Taiwan Navigation Co., Ltd. for their over 60 years of operation of the Kaohsiung-Penghu route and hopes that the passenger services provided by the Penghu Ferry in subsequent operations will continue to improve and benefit the local community.Per the Tourism Department, in 2019, President Tsai instructed the Ministry of Transportation to take back the Penghu Ferry case for the Maritime Port Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation to initiate the "Long-term Procurement Project for Onboard Services for the Kaohsiung-Magong Route." In 2021, the project was awarded to Taiwan Navigation Co., Ltd. and the Japanese "Naikai Zosen Corporation" was selected as the collaborating shipbuilder. Construction work commenced in August 2022 and the keel was laid in November of the same year. The ship was launched on April 4, 2023 and the shipyard is currently working on the interior and other details. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to Kaohsiung in August and commence operations in September. The Penghu Ferry is planned to have a total tonnage of 9,980 tons, a length of approximately 120 meters, a width of 21 meters, a minimum speed of 22 knots and a passenger capacity of 600, including 300 beds. The vehicle loading and unloading space is designed to accommodate 80 small cars, 4 large tour buses and 10 containers, including refrigerated containers. The design of the new ship is expected to significantly alleviate the problem of inadequate space for loading vehicles experienced with the Taihwa Ferry.