May 28, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – For a period of five weeks, the MV Kanawan which usually operates between Parika and Supenaam will be docked for rehabilitative works.
According to a notice posted on the Transport and Harbours Department’s Facebook page yesterday, the vessel will be out of service from June 1, 2022. During the five weeks, the Department stated that the MV Sabanto which also operates the same route as Kanawan, will be departing Supenaam at 05:00hrs daily and work on a “touch and go basis as traffic warrants and tide permitting.”
As a result of this, there will be no formal schedule for the month of June.
Kaieteur News had reported that both vessels are slated to undergo rehabilitation this year and that a contract was already awarded to execute the works on Kanawan.
According to information released from the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board, the $124,134,846 million contract was awarded to Dock Yard on April 19, through the National Competitive Bidding Procedure. When bids were opened for this Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Harbour Department project back in March, the engineer had pegged this project to cost $106,433,760. Kaieteur News had reported that the Ministry is looking to also repair M.V. Sabanto for an estimated cost of $148 million.
This publication understands that the MV Kanawan underwent some $279.6 million in rehabilitation works between 2016 and 2019.
It was reported in the media that in 2016, the former government (APNU/AFC Coalition) had awarded a contract to EC Vieira Investments Limited for the rehabilitation of Kanawan to the sum of $76.9 million.
Following this, in 2017, emergency repairs had to be done on the vessel for some $13,048,010 a contract, which was given to Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited. In the 2019 budget, $180 million was allocated for the M.V. Sabanto and Kanawan vessels to undergo general repairs. That same year, a contract was awarded to the tune of $89.7 million for the Kanawan vessel.
Speaking briefly with Kaieteur News, General Manger of the Transport and Harbour Department, Marcelene Merchant stated that this year’s project will be to do general repairs and maintenance works on the boats. “We are going to address the underwater fittings, the shaft, the propeller, check the thickness of the plate, repairs to the super structure, painting of interior, exterior, repairs works inside, to the washroom and pipes etcetera,” she explained.
The Sabanto and Kanawan ferries, which have been operating between Parika and Supenaam for some 10 years now were gifted to Guyana by the Chinese Government.
It was reported that in December 2010, the PPP/C government signed contracts with the Chinese Government paving the way for the ferries.
The US$14 million boats, which were funded by a US$17 million grant from the Chinese government were described as a New Year’s gift by the local Chinese Embassy. Following the signing of the contracts, the vessels arrived in the country in December 2011 at Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling and became operational the next year. Each vessel has three decks and can hold up to 800 persons, 44 cars, and 20 lorries and can travel at a test speed of 12.5 knots.
Senior Minister with the responsibility of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, who presented this year’s budget, had announced that over $500 million was allocated by the government to rehabilitate these two vessels and the Makouria Ferry.
“The rehabilitation of our ferry vessels, which facilitate the travelling public, is also critical for the movement of people and cargo. To this end, Government has allocated, in 2022, the sums of $2.1 billion for the construction of a new ocean-going passenger and cargo vessel, which will ply the North West District route and $562 million for the docking of Makouria, Sabanto, and Kanawan,” the Minister had said.
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