Design for Region One New Ferry completed; work moving apace – Minister Ferguson
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, January 23, 2017
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson is urging persons who travel to and from the Northwest District, Region One to remain patient as the process to acquire a new ferry continues to move ahead.
Minister Ferguson told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the design for the new ferry is currently with manufactures for construction works to commence. However the process is one that will take time.
“With the procurement of a vessel, it would take some amount of time, it’s not the case whereby you get the money today and you can go to the shipyard tomorrow and procure a vessel. First you have a design which we have shared with our suppliers who now have to manufacture based on the design and specification; and this will take some time,” Minister Ferguson explained.
In November 2016 the government signed a US$18M Line of Credit agreement with the Export-Import Bank of India for the procurement of an ocean ferry to service the Georgetown to North West District route.
Minister Ferguson noted that in Budget 2017 a sum of US$85M has been budgeted towards the procurement process which should move apace this year.
Meanwhile, later this year the M.V Lady Northcote, M.B. Sandaka and M.V Malali will be undergoing maintenance works to improve services to the residents, Minister Ferguson noted that there are no ferries in dock currently.
“Those three vessels will be docked in 2017. At this point in time we have to go out to public tender so I guess by next month, February we should have those tenders out, returned for evaluation and then we’ll see the works being done on the vessels, Minister Ferguson underlined.
The Public Infrastructure Minister says the government will enhance the livelihood of people who depend on water transport for their goods and other commercial commodities but reiterates the need for patience.
Further, General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD), Marcelene Merchant said that the department is working on the acquisition and supply of spares for all the vessels; and the acquisition and installation of a propulsion system for the M.V. Kimbia. This will cost $265.4M and $194.2M respectively and will be done by the Brenco Shipping and Trading Company Limited.
The M.V. Kimbia has been out of service during 2016 and is expected to recommence the Georgetown-Kumaka service by the end of the first quarter in 2017, after the installation of the propulsion system. This will bring the much needed relief to the residents and commuters of the North West District.
By: Ranetta La Fleur