Jan 04, 2016 News
– General Manager
General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) Marceline Merchant has outlined a number of projects to be completed for this year.
Speaking at the recently held, end of year press conference, the T&HD Manager noted that projections for 2016 include plans to dock at least three transport vessels; M.V Kanawan, M.V Sabanto and M .V Makouria.
She said that the Department is likely to embark on rehabilitation of the Supenaam Stelling and the goods wharf in central Georgetown among other areas.
Merchant told the media conference that the Department also anticipates completing rehabilitative work to the Bartica and Parika Stellings.
Last year, $420 million was allotted to T&HD for capital projects. The amount catered for acquisition of spares, dry docking of three vessels and rehabilitation works to sections of various ferry stellings. The Parika Stelling, which is currently under rehabilitation to the tune of $22.4 million, is among the projects which began in 2015.
According to the General Manager, renovation of the Parika Stelling includes salvaging of a submerged catwalk, replacement of cluster piles and mooring piles, and restoration of the fender system adjacent to the catwalk.
She told the media that the Bartica Stelling is also being repaired at the cost of $30.6 million. Phase One of the project is completed. Work to the Bartica Stelling includes reconstructing the fender and mooring system, replacement of cluster piles and dilapidated decking and rotten beams of the docking area.
Meanwhile, a $24.3 million rehabilitation of the stelling at Leguan, the T&HD official said, has concluded — works there, included driving of a few piles and fixing and replacement of dilapidated decking and beams.
Merchant further pointed out that several T&HD vessels are already set to undergo repairs. The MV Sandaka is currently at T&HD Mazaruni dockyard to be rehabilitated at the cost of $ 33.4 million; MV Kimbia at GNIC Wharf to undergo repairs for $107million; the MV Barima, which is also in Mazaruni dockyard will undergo repairs at a cost of $150 million.
She explained that the work is expected to take place on the hull, under water fittings and the super structure of the vessels. According to Merchant, spare parts for the ferries will cost an additional $276 million.
The General Manager further disclosed that the Department earned a 1.8% increase in total revenue in 2015—$706,000,000 compared to 694,000,000 in 2014.
She explained that the bulk of the revenue was derived from the amount of cargo, vehicles and passengers, which were transported using the services provided by T&HD. The Department Head also detailed a breakdown of the manner in which the public transportation services were used in 2015. According to her, the total number of passengers who travelled by ferry in 2015 amounted to 451,000 in comparison to 362,000 in 2014 — equivalent to a 24.4 % increase. The number of vehicles totaled 662,653 compared to the previous year’s 62,000 – a 0.9 % increase; the cargo transported amounted to 161,000 tons last year as compared to 145,000 for 2014.
Commenting on the Berbice River Water Taxi Service, which was introduced on September 21, last, Merchant disclosed that as of December 26, last, 136,000 passengers utilized the service. She noted that previously, MV Bonasika had transported 700-1000 passengers per month, but the Berbice River Water Taxi Service currently accommodates close to 2000 persons per day.
While the service has accommodated a greater complement of travelers, earning revenue of $8.1 million, the T&HD official noted that the service is running at a deficit.
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