Launching of the Transport and Harbours Department New Ocean-Going Passenger and Cargo Ferry Vessel for the Northwest District

The Transport and Harbours Department’s new ocean-going passenger and cargo ferry vessel which will ply to Georgetown to Northwest District was launched in Kolkata, India on June 15, 2022.  The Honorable Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill and a delegation from Guyana along with Officials of the Indian Government and other dignitaries were present to witness this milestone event which took place at the dry dock yard of Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd in Kolkata, India.

To date the ship’s construction has gone through the three traditional milestones phases – Plate Cutting, Keel/Block Laying and Launching. The Plate Cutting milestone took place in April 2021 after the surface treated steel plates were cut into desired shapes and sizes in order to be developed to the required three dimensional shapes. The Keel Laying milestone was reached in November 2021 following the completion of the construction of the main block of the vessel.

The Launching which took place on June 15, 2022, saw ship move from the GRSE TWL dry dock yard to the Hooghly River for further out-fitting. So far, the ship’s main components – engines, gear box, pumps, propellers, shafting and steering system have been installed.

The vessel which is now about sixty (60) percent completed will be fitted-out and tested over the next few months in Kolkata. All finishing works such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC installations, interior and exterior painting, installation of crew and passengers facilities, navigational and auxiliary services, etc will be completed and must be approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) before the ship is transported from India and delivered to Guyana.

In about three months’ time,  the vessel will be subjected to a sea trial over several days in the presence of ABS representatives and as per test protocol, the ship will undergo various trials including machinery, speed, maneuvering, endurance, anchoring, etc.   The Transport and Harbours Department Crew will undergo training by the respective Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) after the completion of the out-fitting works as well as for the duration of the sea trials so that they can be familiarized with all the machinery, navigational and communication systems of the new vessel.

The new ferry and cargo vessel is 70 meters in length and will provide upgraded transportation services to the Northwest district.  It will enhance the livelihood of its people by providing much greater levels of passenger and crew comfort, increased cargo volume capacity, containerized storage, cold and cool room storage for meat and perishables items, and will be able to accommodate 14 cars and 2 trucks with a seating capacity of 294 persons including 14 crew members, 4 auxiliary staff and 10 Officials.