Commuters travelling the Northwest district route are being asked to remain patient as the newly re-commissioned MV Barima undergoes the final inspection by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), before being put into operation.
In early March the Ministers of Public Infrastructure David Patterson and Annette Ferguson re-commissioned the vessel.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson
Speaking to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Minister Ferguson explained that the vessel is not yet plying the Northwest District, Region One route because it has to be inspected by MARAD.
She said MARAD department is the regulatory body mandated to inspect the vessel to ensure that it is properly outfitted before it goes to sea. When that aspect of work is completed then the vessel will sail to Region One.
The MV Barima was rehabilitated at a cost of $150M with upgraded seating accommodation, more capacity and a new crane to load cargo on board. The inspection is expected to be completed by March month end or early April.
Minister Ferguson stated that “because it (vessel) went into major rehabilitation, the MARAD department had to inspect it to ensure that what is currently outfitted is sea worthy.”
The vessel will complement the services provided by the Lady Northcote from Georgetown to the Northwest District, Region One.
Additionally the Minister pointed out to GINA that the 2017 budget has provisions for the docking of the MV Malali, Lady Northcote and MB Sandaka to improve their facilities and services, Minister Ferguson added. “For the MB Sandaka we will basically be replacing or overhauling the engine and for MV Malali and Lady Northcote the usual works whenever they go into docking will be undertaken,” she noted.
A sum of $240M was allocated in Budget 2017, for the reconditioning of the three ferry vessels.