A new boat for the inter-island cargo ferry service could be in the country by early June.
Port Authority chairman Allison Lewis said a vessel has been identified and approval is being sought from the Ministry of Works to proceed with its inspection.
She said the Port Authority will ask Lloyd’s Registry to “look at it and once we are satisfied we will make a recommendation to the Ministry of Works for engagement of the vessel.”
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, confirming this development yesterday, said: “They have sent a recommendation and are going to view the vessel before they sign off on it.”
Businessman Dale Mcleod, who earlier this month said he had been able to source a vessel, said he had received a letter from the Port Authority indicating that the MV La Caracola, which is currently at Port Cabello in Venezuela, is being considered.
McLeod said the letter from the Port was timely because he had until midday today to tell the vessel’s owners whether there was an interest.
He said once Port officials are satisfied the vessel could be in the country by June 2 or 3. The cost to lease it is US$13,500 a month for six months. The compares with the cost for the Atlantic Provider and Trinity Transporter of US$22 million.
McLeod said the MV La Caracola can carry 123 passengers and 100 trucks as well as 20- foot containers and flat racks.
“It can do the work of the two current vessels and will result in major cost savings to the government,” he said.
The cargo ship, built in 1985 and currently sailing under the flag of Venezuela, has a gross tonnage of 9080 tons.
President of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union (SWWTU) Michael Annisette, who is out of the country, said he got information yesterday that the Port management team had decided to go with the La Caracola after conducting an evaluation of the tender for the vessel.
He said he wanted to know what other vessels were tendered and what were the specs they were looking for.
Source: Guardian http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2017-05-16/new-tobago-cargo-boat-soon