Following much anticipation by residents in Region One for more accessible water travel, Government now says that a company has been identified to construct a ferry to ply the Georgetown-North West route.
For the past several months, Government has been engaging in lengthy discussions with two India-based companies to finalise details for construction of an ocean-going vessel that would be used to ply the route between Georgetown and the North-West District in Region One.
The Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, during a post-cabinet briefing at the Ministry of the Presidency on Monday updated members of the media where he said that the vessel’s construction is closer to reality as the construction company has already been identified.
According to Harmon, a $3.2Billion (US $15.6Million) contract was awarded for construction and supply of a passenger and cargo ocean ferry vessel and associated equipment that will ply the North West routed from Parika-Mabaruma.
“We will be receiving funding from India for the construction of the ferry. That process is a lengthy one because it has to go through our public service plus the Indian public service, so it takes time from the actual conceptualisation of a project to fund it. It would have gone through several phases and now a company has been identified to construct the ferry”, Harmon explained.
The North West district is currently served by the Transport and Harbours Department’s refurbished M.V. Barima along with the Lady Northcote.
A sum of $500Million has been allocated in 2018, for the docking of M.V. Makouria, M.V. Kanawan and M.V. Sabanto in 2018.
The Indian Government has committed US$18 million for the ferry. Of this amount, US$8 million will be a grant, while the remaining 10 million will be a line of credit to be repaid within 20 years, with a five-year grace period.
It was in January 2012, that two Chinese vessels were handed over to Guyana to ply various routes in Essequibo.