Contract to the tune of $1.38B awarded for maritime wreck removal

Safety and security on our waterways are of paramount importance to the Government of Guyana. The Ministry of Public Works through the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), is ensuring this mandate is effectively conducted, with the signing of an agreement to embark on the clearance of a number of submerged wrecks and obstructions across the country.

The contract, valued at $1.38 billion (GYDS), was awarded to Koole B.V., an international industrial and maritime service and solution provider. The Dutch company specializes in industrial demolition, remediation, wreck removal, and marine construction.

At the simple signing ceremony on Monday, December 12, 2022, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, noted that this project is extremely important. “The country is advancing and it is, therefore necessary for us to make our waterways safer for ships by removing these 17 wrecks quickly and efficiently,” he stated. 

Director General of MARAD, Captain Stephen Thomas, said that some of the wrecks to be cleared existed since the mid-1900s. Capt. Thomas further added that Guyana’s ports were previously viewed as hazardous to seafarers. However, the clearance of these wrecks, along with the three (3) that were cleared earlier this year by Koole B.V. will allow the country’s ports to be of international acclaim.

The signing of the award also represents the government’s thrust in developing and maintaining the sustainable use of our ocean and river resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of the ocean’s ecosystem referred to as the Blue Economy. The removal of these wrecks is key to port development in Guyana, in particular, the Vreed-en-Hoop port and the Gas to Energy projects.

Once completed, the wreck removal information will be submitted to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) for similar removal from the navigation charts. These efforts are expected to garner renewed confidence for mariners and vessels that it is now very safe to navigate our waters. It will also significantly decrease the insurance risks posed to vessels calling on Guyana’s ports.

MARAD is invested in seeing all ports and port facilities in Guyana meet international standards.

This wreck removal project is expected to be completed within eight months and will cover the entrances to the Demerara, Berbice, Pomeroon, Waini, and Essequibo rivers, as well as off of the Coast in general.

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