MV Kimbia sails again after emergency repairs

―MV Barima remains in dry-dock for engine maintenance

Commuters heading to the Northwest District can resume travels with the MV Kimbia as the vessel is back in operation, following critical repairs.

In a press release, the Ministry of Public Works said the vessel was released from the Guyana National Industrial Corporation’s dry-dock on Friday, following which a successful test run was carried out.

The MV Kimbia after its recommissioning on May 2, 2019

Passengers desirous of boarding the vessel were advised they can do so from Sunday, January 31 at 4:00pm.

The repairs on the vessel were executed after it was found to have a hole in the bow, even though less than two years ago some $488 million was expended on repairs.  

The former administration had recommissioned the vessel and the then Minister had said the contractual works executed by Courtney Benn Construction were to upgrade the maritime sector and provide better services to residents of Regions One and Two.

The Ministry said the vessel was due for works in the dry-dock in 2018 since this was last done in 2015, but the repairs were never done.

Another vessel, the MV Barima remains in dry-dock to undergo engine repairs after sailing for nearly four years without much-needed maintenance. Parts of the port main engine arrived in Guyana on Friday, and the vessel is expected to be repaired by Wednesday.

The PPP/C was elected to office on a mandate that included a pledge to expand river transport and improve ferry services.

Five months into Government, the President Dr.  Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led administration is making good on its promise having signed a $2.6 billion contract with Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers Limited to construct an ocean-going passenger and cargo vessel to replace the MV Kimbia.

The vessel is expected to be built and shipped to Guyana in 18 months. It is anticipated the ferry will make travel and business easier for Region One residents as both goods and services will be delivered in a shorter time.

The new ferry is being financed through a line of credit and grant from the Government of India. Minister Hon. Bishop Juan Edghill said this will save Guyana over $500 million on the contract.

The savings will be invested in the construction of new stellings in Region One, namely at Morawhanna, Kumaka, and Port Kaituma.

Prior to leaving office in 2015, former President Mr. Donald Ramotar secured the loan from India for the new ferry.