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Nidco: Work on ferry goes on in Cuba

Published: 
Saturday, June 23, 2018
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In this image provided by Nidco, workmen install a section of the framing for the forward canopy on the vehicle deck of the Galleons Passage at the Damen Shipyard in Cuba.

The Galleons Passage will not be sailing to this country immediately, as stated by Finance Minister Colm Imbert, but will remain in Cuba to allow remedial work which the seller agreed to complete, according to the National Infrastructure Development Company.

The new information was released in a statement yesterday and an estimated departure date of July 10 from Cuba was announced.

Earlier this week Imbert told the country that the Cubans were unable to retrofit the vessel and that the government had asked that it be brought to Trinidad and Tobago immediately.

Imbert told the Senate that the Government had taken a decision to “bring the vessel to T&T immediately,” because the seller said although fabrication of one of the canopies had begun, they were having difficulty in getting an airline or shipping company to transport some of the remaining equipment and materials to Cuba. Imbert said Cuba is still “an embargoed country for many countries. Cuba accepts shipments from some European states and doesn’t apparently make it very easy for shipments from countries like Australia.”

Yesterday, Nidco, which has the responsibility for the vessel, confirmed that works which the seller had agreed to do are being done in Cuba.

Those works were identified as: the sealing of the gap between the ramp door and the hull of the vessel, fabrication and installation of the framing for the forward canopy on the vehicle deck, to protect against sea spray and installation of additional anchor rings to secure vehicles on the vehicle deck.

Nidco said those works were “specified in the Memorandum of Agreement, between Nidco and Sealease Limited of Hong Kong (the seller), to better equip the vessel for use on the seabridge.”

The date is confirmed by Nidco which confirmed yesterday that the vessel remains docked at the Damen Shipyard in Santiago, Cuba where works agreed to by the seller Sealease Limited of Hong Kong are being done.

Nidco’s update included pictures of the installation of framing for the canopy on the vehicle deck and fabrication of framing for canopy on the vehicle deck.

Nidco said the works being done are the “contractual responsibility of the seller,” and “all associated costs” are being borne by the seller.

On completion Nidco said the works will be “surveyed by the Classification Society’s surveyor, Lloyd’s Register, prior to the vessel’s departure from Cuba.”

Nidco said on its arrival in Trinidad, the owner’s proposed enhancements will be done on a phased basis, while the vessel is in service.

These enhancements include the installation of full canopies over the sundeck, installing and outfitting additional male and female washroom facilities on the sundeck, installing café/bar facilities on the starboard and port side of the sundeck, remodelling of urinals in the men’s washroom and removal of the existing trough urinals provided, and installing of fixing rails for new seating on the passenger deck, with the existing bench seating to be replaced with Beurteaux passenger contoured seats.

Imbert had put a price tag of US$350,000 (TT$2.35 million) on the retrofitting works to be paid for by Nidco.

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