New Region One ferry likely to begin operations in October
A new multi-million-dollar vessel is set to be delivered to Region One, (Barima-Waini) later this year, easing the transportation burden of residents and ensuring the prompt delivery of goods and services there.
The US$ 12.7 million watercraft is being constructed through a line of credit from the Government of India and is expected to sail Guyana’s waters in October.
The 70 metre-long, 14.5-metre-wide vessel is twice the size of the MV Kimbia and MV Barima, which currently ply the North-West route. The new vessel has the capacity to transport 274 passengers, 10 cars, four trucks, 10 (10ft) size containers of cargo at 14 knots per hour, cutting the usual travel time by half.
During a consultation in Port Kaituma, Morawhanna and Kumaka, recently, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, M.P, highlighted the importance of the ferry service.
“Region One is a priority for the PPP/C administration so in less than 45 days after assuming office we had all of the agreement that was necessary for the construction of that ferry. Adequate, reliable and efficient ferry service is also key, so when the boat come you can benefit from it and everybody can benefit from it.”
In January 2021, the agreement of supply was signed between the Ministry of Public Works-Transport and Harbours Department and Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRESL), a renowned shipyard company contracted to construct the vessel in Kolkata, India.
Minister Edghill is expected to visit Kolkata, India in April to inspect and test the new vessel to ensure it functions effectively before coming to Guyana.
Meanwhile, the Transport and Harbours Department has contracted Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants (CEMCO) to rehabilitate three wharfs in Region One.
Some $700 million will be dispensed to fund the project to adequately accommodate the ferry, which has a water frontage length of 200 metres.