Major problems last year affected operations of the Canawaima Ferry Service Inc. that operates between Guyana and Suriname at the Moleson Creek crossing.
Yesterday, during the annual review of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, it was disclosed that the M.V Canawaima experienced numerous mechanical challenges throughout the year. This resulted in extensive delays and ultimately closure of operations for four working days.
The vessel provides a critical link between the two countries, taking vehicles, people and goods back and forth.
Among other things, the vessel experienced down time from broken propellers; burnt engine heads; damages to pistons and rings; broken drive shaft and gears; damaged gear box and electrical malfunction resulting in loss of steering.
Last year, works were done to completely overhaul the starboard engine.
The operations negatively affected passenger traffic by 5.4% in 2016 over that of 2015.
Similarly, vehicular traffic decreased by 4.3%.
“Multiple sailings outside of peak periods continue to drive up operational costs thus inspiring the decision to operate as traffic warrants. We continue to offer rebates to groups that satisfy the stipulated requirements. The official implementation of the yellow fever requirement on December 5, 2016 adversely affected the volume of traffic during our known busy period during the Christmas Holidays.”
This year, to correct the situation, M.V Canawaima is to be docked and the two engines and auxiliaries to be replaced with new ones.
Management is targeting traffic to increase by two percent with the planned installation of a body and baggage scanners and perimeter lights.
In addition to the construction of a website, the renovation to office spaces, washrooms and replacement floating ramp is also planned.
Last year, total passengers using the vessel were 116,079 compared to 122,746 of 2015. Vehicles were 12,487 compared to 13,044 for the year before.
Income from passengers last year fell from $138M to $128M with vehicles paying $30.5M, about $2M less. Income for freight also fell.
Expenses also rose from $96M to $111M last year.
This year, to improve conditions, management of the state-run operations said that it is planning to also install new barrier controls, a generator and wall fans in the Passengers Arrival and Departure areas.
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