St. Ignatius and Brickdam Secondary students win naming competition for tugboats
G-BOATS, a local subsidiary of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO), an American company specialising in supplying vessels to global Oil & Gas operators, launched two new tugboats on Wednesday at the Kingston port wharf.
The vessels, A’RINRA and MADAME KALINA, were specifically made by ECO for Guyana.
They will be used to aid ExxonMobil Guyana’s Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) ships into tankers that will export the oil.
This is according to Ross Chouest of G-Boats, who noted that the two tugboats took three years to build.
The names A’rinra and Madame Kalina were submitted by a Grade 11 student of St. Ignatius Secondary School, Raymond De Cambra, and a Grade 11 student of the Brickdam Secondary School, Kaylan Duncan, respectively, who entered into a competition to name the boats that was launched in March 2022.
The name A’rinra is a Macushi word for an electric eel. It is believed that the eel can withstand any storm or weather to get to its destination while the second name Madam Kalina was derived from the Carib tribe. The name was chosen to name one of the tugboats as it brings awareness to the tribe’s existence and contributions to the nation.
The winning schools were rewarded with a donation of US$1,000. The prizes were handed over at the Brickdam Secondary School on June 28, 2022, and at the St. Ignatius Secondary School on June 29, 2022.
Ross Chouest of G-Boats Guyana said that the ceremony celebrates the remarkable achievement of two exceptional individuals who have made their schools and communities proud.
He said that Raymond and Kaylan used their ability to think beyond the ordinary and envisaged names that embody the essence of Guyana. He said that it was through their imaginative minds and creative spirits that the perfect names will forever grace the vessels.
He said, “A ship’s name reflects its character, purpose, and values it represents.”
Meanwhile, Alistair Routledge, the President of Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), emphasised that these vessels serve as a representation of the strong partnership and growing bond between the companies and the countries involved.
He recognised that the oil and gas business requires trusted relationships.
“We rely on one another; there is no company or one entity that does everything. We are a series of companies joined together,” Routledge said.
He related that the investment and expertise taken to build the vessels and dedicate them to Guyana by ECO is appreciated.
“They (the tugboats) are going to go and operate 100 miles offshore Guyana…that is where our tanking loading operations take place,” he stated.
During Routledge’s address to the secondary school students present at the launch event, he said that he hopes the experience of boarding the vessels and meeting the crew, including a Guyanese first mate, would leave them inspired and wanting to become a part of Guyana’s oil and gas industry.
“I hope that inspires you to be a part of this industry which is going to be here in Guyana for decades to come. You can have a full career in your lifetime in the oil and gas industry in Guyana. It is still at the beginning of a multi-decade journey for the country,” he related.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickcand, related that she was pleased to have schools involved in the naming process of the vessels.
“…because you involved schools and you did it through the Ministry, that means all schools were involved and that our children, were able to, as representatives of Guyana, to leave a mark on the vessels that will do much more than we can probably predict here, so I thank you for involving Guyana’s schools,” she noted.
Furthermore, Minister Manickchand emphasised the ongoing efforts to implement universal secondary education in Guyana, recognising it as a monumental undertaking.
She stressed the importance of ensuring that every child in the country has equitable access to high-quality secondary education and noted the government’s dedication to achieving this goal.
She said they are actively working towards providing every student with the opportunity to receive a high-quality education at the secondary level.
“It does not exist right now because our geography poses a challenge where you have a village with only 40 children across levels. It is difficult to provide secondary education of a high international quality for that village,” she explained.
She also highlighted that Guyana has achieved universal primary education.