$1.38B contract awarded for removal of maritime wrecks

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A $1.38 billion contract was awarded to Koole B.V., a Dutch company that provides international industrial and maritime services and solutions, for the removal of submerged wrecks and obstructions across the country. 

The Ministry of Public Works in a statement on Monday noted that “safety and security on our waterways are of paramount importance to the Government of Guyana.”

The statement said the Dutch company specialises in industrial demolition, remediation, wreck removal, and marine construction.

The wreck removal project is expected to be completed within eight months and will cover the entrances to the Demerara, Berbice, Pomeroon, Waini, and Essequibo rivers, as well as off of the Coast in general. 

 At the contract signing on Monday, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill noted that this project is extremely important. 

“The country is advancing and it is, therefore necessary for us to make our waterways safer for ships by removing these 17 wrecks quickly and efficiently,” he stated. 

Director General of MARAD, Captain Stephen Thomas, said that some of the wrecks to be cleared existed since the mid-1900s. 

Captain Thomas further added that Guyana’s ports were previously viewed as hazardous to seafarers. 

However, the clearance of these wrecks, along with the three that were cleared earlier this year by Koole B.V. will allow the country’s ports to be of international acclaim.

The removal of these wrecks is key to port development in Guyana, in particular, the Vreed-en-Hoop port and the Gas to Energy projects.

Once completed, the wreck removal information will be submitted to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) for similar removal from the navigation charts. These efforts are expected to garner renewed confidence for mariners and vessels that it is now very safe to navigate Guyana’s waters. It will also significantly decrease the insurance risks posed to vessels calling on Guyana’s ports.

MARAD is invested in seeing all ports and port facilities in Guyana meet international standards. 

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