News day / At a press conference yesterday at the Ministry of Transport head office, at the corner of Richmond and London Streets, Port-of-Spain, chairman of the TT Port Authority, Allison Lewis, said daily rental fees for the cargo vessel named Cabo Star and the passenger vessel named, Ocean Flower are US $22,500 and US $26,500 respectively.
Lewis said the Ocean Flower has a capacity of 840 passengers and can hold 158 vehicles, where as the Cabo Star can hold 120 passengers and has that capability, unlike the Atlantic Provider, which was one of the problems. In addition to facilitating passengers, the Cabo Star can also carry trucks. The vessel (Ocean Flower) is basically comparable to the TT Express and it has more or less the same features as the Express. The vessels were contracted by Bridgemans Ferry Services, which is a company out of Vancouver in Canada. She continued, We expect those two vessels to be on service as soon as they get here. We have a number of administrative things we have to deal with. The Ministry of Works and Transport is working with us to get those things done and we expect that we would have those vessels on the 17th in TT. She said over the last few months they have had many challenges on the seabridge both with the cargo and passengers situation between Trinidad and Tobago. Lewis said over the last couple of months they have been using the Trinity Transporter and the Atlantic Provider, along with the other vessel for cargo operation.
It was reported that the daily rental fee for the Trinity Transporter and the Atlantic Provider was US$14,000 and US$8,000 respectively.
She said the vessels are going to be on charter for one year, and during this time they expect to finalise specifications for a longterm charter and to have a vessel built. We believe it will take somewhere between three years. I want to emphasise that this situation again is for a period of one year and it is on a chartered line. We expect that these vessels will take care of the cargo needs of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. Lewis said at the moment they have the TT Spirit on drydock, while the TT Express has been operating together with the water taxis. However, she said due to the workload on the vessels, both vessels are scheduled to go on drydock for a period between June and September.
As we all know, we have had many incidents and challenges with both of those vessels. They have not been operating optimally.
We have also during the month of May invited an engineer who basically handled and worked on building one of the vessels. We invited him to come in to do an assessment on both the vessels basically to give us some recommendations with respect to what we need to do to go forward. She added, The situation is the vessels are really in a bad shape, and final analysis is not going to be just the routine drydock, but it is very clear to us that we are going to have to do serious work and maintenance with respect to the vessels, not only the engines but, also there is going to be other work done including electrical work etcetera. She said the scheduled drydocking for the Spirit and the Express is geared between June and September of this year.
TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Two vessels arrive soon for inter-island services
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