India, Guyana sign agreement to build US$12 million ferry vessel for North West District, Kwakwani

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 17:51 by Denis Chabrol

An Indian company and the Transport and Harbours Department of the Ministry of Public Works on Wednesday signed an agreement to build an ocean-going vessel at a cost of US$ 12,733,403 to ply the Georgetown-North West District route, the Indian High Commission said.

The Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd (GRESL), a Government of India Undertaking under the Ministry of Defence of India has been contracted to build the vessel.

“The ferry is to be used in the North Western region as well as South Western region of the country up to the interior town called Kwakwani, Berbice river.  It will be used as coastal as well as river service vessel,” the Indian High Commission said.

Also present at the signing of the design, build and supply contract were Public Works Minister Juan Edghill, and Indian High Commissiober to Guyana, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa.  Mr. Edghill said the ferry vessel would be available in 18 months and would provide larger cargo carrying capacity, shorter travel times and a safer and more comfortable service to commuters travelling between Georgetown and the
Northwest District.

The construction of the vessel is being financed by a US$8 million grant and a line of credit of US$10 million. The Indian High Commission said India was examining Guyana’s proposal to use the remainder of the money tp upgrade of the marine stellings that will serve this vessel.

The Public Works Ministry said  the payment breakdown for the contract which will be done at different installments; an advance payment of 20% will be disbursed in January  2021 in the sum of 2,253,601 USD. Another 40% of the contract value will be disbursedin 2021 at various construction milestone dates totaling 5,239,901.07 USD. The final 40% of the contract value totaling 5,239,901.07 USD will be disbursed in 2022 after the installation of the main engines and steering systems and upon receipt and acceptance the vessel.

GRSE is a prominent shipbuilding company in India under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence, primarily catering to the shipbuilding requirements of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.

In addition to its ship and warship building capabilities, GRSE is also engaged in engine production and other engineering activities. The engineering division manufactures deck machinery items, pre-fabricated portable steel bridges and marine pumps. Over the years, GRSE has developed capabilities for in-house design and shipbuilding and has made considerable contributions to the indigenous warship construction programme of our country.

The shipbuilding product line extends its span from technologically sophisticated Frigates and Corvettes to Fast Patrol Vessels. In last five decades, GRSE has built and delivered ships ranging from small to large and advanced vessels, including frigates, anti-submarine warfare corvettes, missile corvettes, landing ship tanks, landing craft utilities, survey vessels, fleet replenishment tankers, fast patrol vessels, offshore patrol vessels, inshore patrol vessels, WJ-FAC, hover crafts and fast interceptor boats for the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, MHA and governments of other countries.

GRSE has built and supplied more than 750 vessels to carry men and material for the surveillance of the coast line. Over the years, the company has responded to the varied shipbuilding requirements of the Indian Defence Services and has evolved from building simpler vessels to building larger and technically advanced warships.

Presently, GRSE has 3 separate facilities for shipbuilding, all of which are located in close vicinity of each other in Kolkata, India. GRSE is the first Indian shipyard to integrate carbon composite superstructures with steel hulls for the construction of its third ASW Corvette for the Indian Navy, which resulted in a reduction in weight and increased stability of ships. GRSE’s aggregate order book was about US$ 3 billion, which includes products to be manufactured and delivered. As of Dec 2018, there are firm contracts for manufacturing and delivery of 13 ships comprising of: 1 ASW Corvettes, 3 Landing Craft Utility, 5 Fast Patrol Vessels, 3 P17-A Class Frigates, 4 Survey Vessels and 28 Diesel Alternators (1 MW) worth 2,250.00 million.

GRSE has an advantage over global shipyards in securing contracts to build vessels for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard because it qualifies for the “Make in India” initiative. The “Make in India” initiative grants indigenous manufacturers a competitive advantage when supplying to the domestic marke