The Transport and Harbours Department’s (T&HD) ferry, the MV Barima is ready to go into operation following its refurbishment that cost government $150M.
Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson in discussion with contractor Courtney Benn on the newly refurbished MV Barima
The vessel will complement the services provided by the Lady Northcote from Georgetown to the Northwest District, Region One. Additionally it will also dock at Port Kaituma and Kumaka.
Some of the new features include seating accommodation, 200 adult and 50 children’s life jackets, new beds for sailors and crew members, television sets and most importantly, a new crane to load cargo on board.
The vessel which was docked since November 2015 was rehabilitated by local contractor Courtney Benn Construction, with assistance from engineers and other technical staff at T&HD.
Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson today, re-commissioned the refurbished vessel for operation.
Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA) Minister Ferguson explained that, prior to it being docked and the new refurbishments, passengers utilised hammocks during the journey to Region One, since there was no proper accommodation for passengers.
Ministers of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Annette Ferguson being given a tour of the newly refurbished MV Barima by contractor Courtney Benn
Now that has changed and passengers can experience comfort while travelling on their journey, Minister Ferguson noted.
The Minister pointed out that the rehabilitation of the vessel was delayed due to the time taken to import needed parts.
Minister Ferguson related to GINA that according to the contractor, with the new engines, the vessel is expected to move faster, thereby reducing the journey to Region One. “This vessel was servicing the Region One district, however, currently there is the Lady Northcote plying the area, but with this vessel, services will be improved,” Minister Ferguson indicated.
The Minister pointed out that the vessel’s management is working on the travelling schedule.
According to Minister Ferguson, no additional fund was expended on the refurbishing of the vessel. “When the vessel was docked in November 2015 to the tune of $150M, all the new features I have alluded to were done with that same amount. No extra fund was charged for those works,” Minister Ferguson said.