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Port seeking passenger vessel

CLINT CHAN TACK Friday, May 19 2017

WORKS and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan yesterday said the Port Authority is seeking to charter a third passenger vessel to “take up the slack” when the TT Spirit and TT Express, each go for separate dry docking later this year.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s, Sinanan said, “This charter will be for a six month period.” Reiterating that one ferry will be drydocked in June and the other will be drydocked in September, Sinanan said the third vessel will ensure that there are always two passenger vessels operating on the seabridge.

He explained that because the TT Spirit and the TT Express have each not been drydocked for some time, this has contributed to recent operational problems each vessel has experienced. Sinanan said it was wrong for anyone to claim there was no maintenance system for the ferries.

“Maybe we need to revisit the system of maintenance that is taking place right now,” the minister suggested.

Stating this system was reorganised last year, Sinanan said this does not appear to be helping the operations of the ferries.

He said the Port Authority has suggested a technical team be brought in to look at the system.

On ongoing efforts to obtain a cargo vessel, Sinanan said the Authority has narrowed down those options from seven to two.

While stressing that no decision has been made as yet as to which vessel would be chosen, Sinanan said there have been challenges with the Atlantic Provider and the Trinity Transporter.

Both vessels were brought in to replace the Super Fast Galicia which was pulled from the seabridge in April.

Sinanan has said this matter is engaging his ministry’s lawyersas well as those of the Authority. He also said the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs is examining the arrangement under which the Galicia was brought in under the former People’s Partnership government.



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