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Wednesday 17 July 2019
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Galleons Passage to focus on berthing on next run

Port Authority chairman Lyle Alexander.
Port Authority chairman Lyle Alexander.

PORT Authority chairman Lyle Alexander yesterday said emphasis is being placed on ensuring the Galleons Passage berths stern first at Scarborough on its next trip.

He explained that once this happens, consideration would be given to whether any additional work needs to be done on the ramp at Scarborough port.

The Galleons Passage experienced some problems berthing bow-first after its first test run to Tobago on September 1.

The ferry will be doing another test run this week. Alexander explained that once the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) does all it needs to do to ensure the Galleons Passage is ready for service, it would be handed over to the authority. On Wednesday, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan was optimistic the vessel could be on the seabridge next week, once everything goes well. Sinanan said the vessel’s berthing problems were blown out of proportion by some people. He said the TT Spirit and TT Express needed a ramp to berth in Tobago. Sinanan said the SuperFast Galicia needed a barge to berth in Trinidad. In a statement on September 1, Nidco said the Galleons Passage took four and a half hours to travel between Port of Spain and Scarborough.

With the ferry having bow and stern ramps, Nidco said the stern-berthing option was deemed more feasible. Nidco has also put out tenders for a fast ferry, which would be leased for two years, with an option to renew for an additional year. At a Conversation with the Prime Minister forum in Scarborough last month, Sinanan explained this vessel would assist the Galleons Passage and the TT Spirit on the seabridge while efforts are being made to acquire two new fast ferries from Australia.

The Prime Minister said these vessels should arrive in TT by mid-2020.

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