Last Updated on Friday, 21 April 2023, 17:27 by Denis Chabrol
Several wharves are being rebuilt to accommodate the newly-built North West District (NWD) ferry, MV Ma Lisha, which is expected to reduce the cost of goods to communities and ship agricultural produce to markets on the coast, authorities said Friday.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill said in preparation for that vessel, more than GY$2 billion worth of contracts have been awarded for he expansion and modernisation of the stelling at Kingston (Goods Wharf), Georgetown; Port Kaituma, Mabaruma, and Morawhanna. “While we are modernising in terms of the acquiring of vessels, we also have to improve the stellings and the facilities,” he said.
He said the coastal passenger and cargo ship has 10 shipping containers to shuttle cargo to and from communities in Region One (Barima-Waini). “It means that we could do greater volume and we would be able to reduce the price for goods that are taken up to Region One for consumption and it means, also, that the people of Region One could get back to farming in large scale because their products would be able to meet markets in Georgetown and beyond in record time without spoiling,” he said.
With the fast boat expected to cut travel time from one day to six or eight hours, Mr Edghill said, the “MV Ma Lisha is a game changer for water transportation in Guyana.”
Passengers would be able to book trips online.
The air-conditioned MV Ma Lisha has the capacity to carry more than 270 passengers who would have sufficient leg room. The people of Region One would now be able to get home faster six to eight hours, allowing for the quick movement of tourists, health and education personnel and equipment for mining and water sectors, he said. “This vessel is linked towards improved services in many ways,” he said.
Public Works Minister II Deodat Indar said residents and businesses in the NWD would now be able to ship perishable items at a cheaper cost because the vessel has a cold storage facility. “People normally takes it through flights and it cost the people of Region One more because of the flight cost; now you’ll have a rebalancing of these things because people are now going to move that cargo through the cold storage,” he said.
He said the MV Ma Lisha, which cost US$12.7 million vessel is an American Bureau Shipping Class vessel which would have to undergo periodic surveys of 26 different aspects to maintain its classification. According to the minister, the staff would have to be well-trained in operating the vessel in the right manner.