Major works are set for the Leguan and Bartica stellings this year, General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) Marcelene Merchant has said.
Making a presentation at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure’s end-of-year review last week, Merchant explained that $762 million has been allocated to the department’s capital programme for 2018, of which $500 million will be spent on the vessels and the remaining $262 million will be spent on the rehabilitation of stellings.
From the money allocated for the stellings, Merchant noted that major works will be done on the Leguan stelling, which has been in a deplorable condition for years, and the completion of the second phase of the Bartica stelling.
Stabroek News had visited the Leguan Stelling early last year and drivers and other persons who use the facility daily likened it to a death trap. Numerous piles that supported the floor of the stelling were rotting and almost falling off, while various other parts were in a deplorable condition.
In addition to works on the two major stellings, Merchant also pointed out that the MV Makouria, MV Kanawan and MV Sabanto will be reconditioned.
She also stated that on January 23, the bids for the design and construction of the ocean ferry are expected to be opened after the Exim Bank of India has submitted the names of two companies.
Meanwhile, Merchant said that in terms of the revenue, the Department earned $812 million from traffic last year, as compared to $758 million in 2016, which represents a seven percent increase. In 2017, the T&HD transported approximately 469,000 passengers, 81,000 vehicles and 143,000 tonnes of cargo throughout the country.
She added that it was also able to dock and recondition the MV Malali at a cost of $85.5 million, acquire and install an operations system for the MV Sadanka at a cost of $291.4 million, recondition the MV Lady Northcote to the tune of $24.9 million and the reapply the steering mechanism of the MV Kimbia, which costed $177 million.
Under the stellings rehabilitation programme, Merchant noted that they were able to begin phase one rehabilitation of the Bartica Stelling and the Supenaam Stelling, the Mazaruni Dockyard and the Rosignol and New Amsterdam stellings.
There were also minor rehabilitation works on the Parika Stelling and they are still currently sourcing a truck scale for the Supenaam Stelling that is expected to cost about $6 million.
Additionally, the construction of two water taxis have been completed but the Department is still waiting to install the two outboard engines, which Merchant said should be completed by the end of February.