MPI gets $377M supplementary provision to repair ferry vessels

DPI, Guyana, Monday, November 20, 2017

The National Assembly last Friday approved a $377 million supplementary provision sought by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) for the reconditioning of several ferry vessels.

Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson vigorously defended his ministry’s request for the additional funding, which he said will go towards the repairs of several boats.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson addressing the National Assembly on Friday last.

“This money being sought is for the replacement of two engines. This is to procure and replace engines and that will be done,” Minister Patterson said.

Opposition Member of Parliamentarian (MP) Dharmkumar Seeraj sought answers on how the ministry would expend the multi-million-dollar package before the end of the 2017 fiscal year, especially since the ministry has already spent some $415, 000,000 so far for the year.

“$177 million is for the MV Kimbia, that is to do the repairs. The MV is in dry docks at the moment… the 200 million is for procurement of spares with the same procurement method that was done before and that how we are going to do it, “Minister Patterson explained.

According to Minister Patterson, the supplementary provision that was sought is for the provision of additional resources to facilitate rehabilitation works on the MV Kimba and purchase of air filters, injectors, auxiliary pumps, and other critical spares.

He explained that the MV Lady Northcote which plies the Region one (Barima Waini) route, has been in existence for some 70 years, while the MV Barima which runs the North-West district is 78 years old. The MV Moruca he said is 58 years old, the MV Malalli is 55 years, while the MV Kimbia is 36 old. The MV Sanadaka he reported has been in existence for some 11 years while two Chinese vessels are six years old each.

According to Minister Patterson, every year government has to make provisions to keep the vessels afloat and that provision fell under the voted provision for this year. He said the MV Kimbia has been down to allow for repair. He explained that while it was down and upon final inspection, some defects in the engine were discovered.

Meanwhile, MP Seeraj also requested information on the fate of the MV Torani. The vessel has been moored for over five years now. According to Minister Patterson, his office did not budget for the vessel, as it is known fact that the former administration had gutted the vessel indicating that it had other plans for it rather than allowing it to sail.

The vessel was moved to the Mazaruni dockyard, as it was abandoned at the Stabroek market wharf.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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