The M.B. Sandaka was recently outfitted with two hydro-master propulsion systems which will be powered by two caterpillar 3406 engines.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), other rehabilitation works were carried out to enhance the vessel. All works were done by Brenco Shipping and Trading Company Ltd.
The acquisition and installation of the two engines cost a total of $291 Million while rehabilitation which included painting and repairs cost an additional $13 Million.
M.B Sandaka operates the Leguan to Parika route.
General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) Marcelene Merchant along with her team and the contracting company yesterday assessed the vessel.
After an incident-free test run of the ferry, Merchant said that she was 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 that “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 told DPI 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.”