One of two $50 million Ro-Pax ferries built for the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador by Damen has been recalled to the company’s Romania shipyard to replace one of the engines in its diesel-electric propulsion.

The 265’x56’x14’ Veteran began having engine trouble enroute westward to delivery, and turned back through the Mediterranean Sea. After docking at the island of Malta, the decision was made to return to the Damen yard at Galati, rather than make some repairs there and again at St. John’s after the Atlantic crossing, province Transportation Minister David Brazil told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Monday.

Brazil said “the agreement was we want a state-of-the-art ferry, that's what we paid for, that's what Damen has produced, so she's going to go back to Romania and have a brand new engine put in."

The Veteran and sister ship Legionnaire are equipped with three diesels each generating 1,700Kw to two Rolls Royce electric azimuth drives. Classed for operations in heavy ice, the ferries can carry up to 200 passengers, and are key to the government’s plan for upgrading service to remote island communities.

Launched in March, the Veteran could still be operational by late autumn even with the anticipated two- to three-week delay, Brazil said. The Legionnaire, launched in July, is scheduled to enter service in March 2016.