GEORGETOWN, Guyana, May 27, CMC – The Guyana government says two ferries acquired from China at a cost of more than US$14.4 million will begin operations along the Essequibo River from July.
Public Works Minister Robeson Benn the ferries – Sapanto and Kanawan – will start operations in the in the first week of July and will be of significant aid to businessmen as well as commuters travelling from Regions Two to Three.
The financing, design, construction and transportation of the vessels were done through a grant by the government of China.
“Guyana has managed over the years to build a strong partnership with several countries, and acquiring the boats is a perfect picture of what that partnership is,” Benn said, adding that a team of Chinese experts, who spent a few days in Guyana, have trained 10 local personnel to operate the vessels.
“The training and operational requirements are more sensitive, and they have to be practiced and the operational and handling characteristics have to be well understood by the captains and the engineers to make sure that we put them into proper safety for the passengers.”
The ferries can carry 800 passengers and 44 cars each and Benn assured that the sourcing of spares would not be confined to China.
“There is flexibility with respect to the sourcing of spares,” he said, noting that the electronic equipment and engines for the vessels are made in Europe.