New North-West ferry sets sail to Guyana next month

The new multimillion North-West vessel being constructed in Kolkata, India is expected to sail to Guyana next month, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, MP, made the announcement on the sidelines of a contract signing at the ministry’s Kingston office on Tuesday.

“Good news, my understanding is that Garden Reach Shipbuilders, which is the company building the vessel will be ready to move the vessel into water on June 15, in India. The tide that facilitates such an operation is expected to be June 15 and Garden Reach is getting ready for that,” he said.

Draft of new North-West ocean-going ferry.

The US$12.7 million watercraft is set to be delivered to Region One, (Barima-Waini), in an effort to ease the transportation burden of residents and ensuring the prompt delivery of goods and services there.

The agreement to supply the ocean-going passenger and cargo vessel from India to Guyana was signed on January 13, 2021 between Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), and the Ministry of Public Works’ Transport and Harbours Department through a line of credit.

The 70 metre-long, 14.5-metre-wide vessel with a water frontage length of 200 metres 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. The design has been accomplished by the in-house design team of GRSE and incorporates enhanced safety and operational features.

The ministry will be constructing three wharfs to adequately accommodate the roll in-roll out watercraft. The new wharfs will be constructed at the Barima loading area to service residents of Port Kaituma and surrounding communities.  The wharf at Kumaka will be relocated in an effort to mitigate the heavy traffic caused by the market and the Morawhanna stelling will be upgraded as it caters to persons and small cargo.

The ministry’s Transport and Harbours Department has contracted Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants (CEMCO) to rehabilitate the wharfs in the Region to the tune of some $700 million.

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