The Georgetown/Northwest route will be serviced by a new ferry, which is expected to come on stream in 18 months.
The Transport and Harbours Department of the Ministry of Public Works today signed a contract with Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited for the design, building and supply of an Ocean Going Passenger and Cargo Ferry Vessel for the Northwest District.
The Indian firm is undertaking the contract at a sum of US$12.7M.
The company will receive an advance payment of 20% of the total contract sum, which represents USD $2.253M.
Another 40% of the contract value will be disbursed later in 2021 at various stages of the contract with the final 40% payment being disbursed in 2022 upon receipt and acceptance of the vessel.
According to Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, the new vessel will provide a larger capacity for cargo, shorter travel time, safer and comfortable service.
The current vessel that serves the Georgetown/Northwest route has developed some problems after being in operation for several years.
The MV Kimbia will continue to operate the route until the new vessel arrives.
Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, said the new vessel should really offer some added relief to Region One residents.
He lauded the Guyana Government for reviving the project after a long hiatus.
The entire project is part of an US$18M grant/line of credit. The grant aspect covers $8M while the line of credit covers $10M. Of the remaining sum, the High Commissioner of India said efforts are being made to see how it can be used for the upgrade of stellings and water arrival/departure ports.
The Government of India is also involved in a number of infrastrutural projects including the Ogle bypass road and the upgrading of three regional hospitals.