Guyana: “Best thing for North West” – The MV Kimbia is Back in service + video

MV Kimbia

May 26, 2019 – Guyana Chronicle

…North West Guyana (Region 1) residents praise recommissioning of MV Kimbia 
…cite easing of economic burden, potential for increased trade

CITING its economic importance, residents of the township of Mabaruma were out in their numbers on Wednesday May 22, 2019 to welcome the Transport and Harbours Department ferry MV Kimbia which returned to the area after some four years.

Minister within the Ministry of Communities, Annette Ferguson, was on hand to join the celebrations as the vessel moored at the port of Kumaka on Wednesday. Members of the business community were ecstatic that the spacious vessel, which was overhauled at a cost of more than G$400M, was finally back in service. Residents told the Guyana Chronicle that persons would be able to ferry more goods for sale in the capital city and it was noted too that the new seating arrangement as well as other improvements within the vessel impressed many. “I must say that thanks to the government that we have this vessel back with us. It is going to benefit us business people tremendously, because we won’t have to hire those private boats anymore,” a businessman noted.         

“I personally feel that it’s the best thing that has happened to North-West in a while. Especially for the business sector, now most people saying goods and so forth won’t be short,” said Orbin Domingo, a resident of White Water village near Mabaruma.”People are very happy,” he said.


Cheaper travel 
It was noted by residents that it is cheaper to travel on the ferry when compared to air travel which residents noted, was increased several months ago without notice. The fare per passenger is less than $2000 while by air, the tickets cost between $15000 and $20 000 one way. The price to ferry goods into the region on the vessel is more economical, residents said.

The vessel is expected to make fortnightly trips to Mabaruma from the Kingston wharf in Georgetown. The return of the 38- year-old vessel is seen as a shot in the arm for commuters and hinterland residents who had complained that the other two T&HD vessels which have been plying the route could not accommodate their goods. At the commissioning of the vessel earlier this month officials reported that an additional 20 years have been added to the life of the vessel with the rehabilitative work which was undertaken by local firm Courtney Benn Construction company.

Veteran Captain Gordon Kingston, who has racked up 30 years of service, had told this newspaper that

Part of the mandate of the T&HD is to provide quality and safe service to the Guyanese public and according to Harbour Master, Mr. Michael Tennant, an additional 15 to 20 years of service has been added to the vessel, as a result of the rehabilitative works. The vessel had been unserviceable for some four years, as rehabilitative works totalling G$488M entailed general docking, the rebuilding of the two engines, repairs to the hull, underwater fittings and the steering and parts were undertaken by the Courtney Benn Contracting Services Ltd (CBCS).

The modernised ferry passenger lounge 

The vessel was in quite a deplorable state when it was taken out of service, and Contractor Courtney Benn had told the Guyana Chronicle that it is now fitted with two engines which were fully overhauled in Holland by shipping giant, Ballast Nedam. To ensure that they worked perfectly when refitted to the vessel, the company dispatched two technician/engineers, here to oversee the process.

The repairs to the M.V. Kimbia were done by Benn at the Guyana National Industrial Corporation (GNIC) dockyard. Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson told the media during a recent tour of the vessel that with the M.V. Kimbia back in operation, “obviously it will promote the frequency by which we can service the North-West, that (service) is (now) enhanced.

Besides it is a bigger boat than the other two (Barima and Northcote), so obviously we can get to carry more passengers and cargo, and with the capacity and obviously with more cargo it would be cheaper for the community…”
“We are quite pleased, the boat has been down for about three or four years, it was in a terrible state of disrepair but as you can see we have new engines, new machinery and with good care and maintenance it can go another 10 to 20 years. It is all part of the overall package of upgrade of the maritime sector and better service [for] our residents in Region One,” he added.

The minister said he will ensure that a strict maintenance programme is put in place, and disclosed that he is already considering undertaking a trip on the boat to experience for himself, some of the issues the residents have been complaining about. He is considering, too, having a suggestion box so that commuters can give a feedback about the service and also, re-establish an inspectorate division that will address issues, such as people being treated unfairly and not being allowed to board according to priority


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  • Linda  On 05/26/2019 at 6:46 pm

    Great news and very happy for the people of this region. It will be easier for them to make a living.

  • Anthony Robinson  On 05/26/2019 at 7:14 pm

    That’s is very important decision by the government

  • wally n  On 05/27/2019 at 1:31 pm

    I remember bringing the M V Barina from North West, on the main engine one piston broke through the engine cover, we were in the middle of a very rough sea and up to our ears in oil, no shirts, getting burnt with hot oil. Removing the piston and rod from the main shaft, cutting off the fuel supply, and continuing with one cylinder less on one set of the main engines. Why? the Captain said trying to go through the storm with one set of main engines, harder to control the ship, so we had a better chance with one and a half set of engines. Why am I mentioning this, one, was my motivation to get the hell out of that job, two I don’t think the average person knows how dangerous that stretch of sea can be. Hopefully they only use well functioning vessels for those areas. Good to see time and attitude changed, best of luck.

    • Curtis  On 05/27/2019 at 6:08 pm

      Well Wally I can understand why you left your job at that time, but from the sounds of it, this new vessel is very sea worthy and should continue to be once they keep up maintenance.

  • wally n  On 05/27/2019 at 6:29 pm

    Exactly, I was so happy to read the article, that is/ can be, a dangerous journey. My time, no money, never enough budgeted, no spares, progress, best news, IMA still standing.

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