Passengers to and from the North-West District are expected to benefit from significantly shortened travel time when the MV Barima returns to operation in about two weeks after more than a year of rehabilitative works.
Similarly, MV Kimbia will be out of dock soon following extensive works. Both vessels went into dock in November 2015.
According to a MPI release, this information was shared with Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, by the contractor, Mr. Courtney Benn of Courtney Benn Contracting Services Ltd., during a recent visit to the docked ferries.
During her lengthy visit of the far-progressed MV Barima, Minister Ferguson expressed concern for the maintenance of the vessel following undocking and assurances were in turn given by officials of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) that maintenance would be a priority.
Minister Ferguson also noted that much work would have been put in from her last visit some months ago. These works included the replacement and repair of underwater fittings, including the propellers and rudders; scraping and painting of the hull; installation of two main engines; painting of the interior and exterior of the ferry; installation of new seats for the passengers; and the upgrade of crew cabins. The ferry also benefited from improved safety thanks to 250 new life jackets and the addition of fire extinguishers. The project cost was $150.6M.
Minister Ferguson also visited the MV Kimbia, which is also in dock and is being repaired by the same contractor.
The works for the MV Kimbia include general docking; servicing and repair of underwater fittings; painting of the hull; installation of zinc panels; and painting of its interior and exterior while its electrical and plumbing issues will also be addressed. The ferry will also be outfitted with a new propulsion system; the engine is currently being rebuilt and acquired from Holland.