THE newly rehabilitated vessel M.B. Sandaka, is expected to provide a more efficient service to commuters, according to a press release from the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Wednesday.
In a news bulletin, the DPI said that the ferry was recently outfitted with two hydro-master propulsion systems which will be powered by two caterpillar 3406 engines. It said that other rehabilitation works were also carried out to enhance the vessel. Brenco Shipping and Trading Company Ltd executed all of the works on the vessel.
The acquisition and installation of the two engines cost a total of $291Million, while rehabilitation which included painting and repairs cost an additional $13Million, the news bulletin said.
M.B. Sandaka operates the Leguan to Parika route and even undertakes international duties between Guyana and Suriname, whenever the M.V Canawaima is undergoing scheduled maintenance.
The DPI said that General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) Marcelene Merchant, along with her team and the contracting company on Wednesday assessed the vessel.
After an incident-free test run of the ferry, Merchant said that she was very impressed with the works done on the vessel. She noted that with the installation of the new propulsion systems, the T&HD will be able to provide a more reliable and improved service to the public.
Merchant stated, “We are considering putting the vessel into operation by this weekend, which will be either on Saturday or Sunday. The vessel is now better equipped to serve the residents of Leguan and other commuters who will be travelling between Parika and Leguan.”
Chief Mechanical Engineer, Dwane Griffith, said that with the installation of the new systems, the vessel will be able to make much faster trips. “We will be able to cut down the travel time between Parika and Leguan by at least 10 minutes. Previously, the travel time was approximately 45 minutes and I think we will be able to better that,” said Griffith.
Additionally, Griffith pointed out that coupled with rehabilitation of the vessel, the T&HD will also be rehabilitating the Leguan ferry terminal.
According to the DPI news bulletin, Traffic Manager of T&HD Stephan Skekel pointed out that with the vessel up and running, the regular ferry service will be back on schedule.