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Govt offered high-speed ferry for seabridge

Published: 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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The vessel, originally designed as a large high speed commercial ferry, was used to transport US military personnel

The Government was offered a high-speed commercial ferry for the seabridge with capacity to transport 970 passengers and 251 cars, sources have told the T&T Guardian.

Emails with details and photos of the vessel were sent to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance from Atlantic Marine Equipment on December 18, days after an inter-ministerial committee headed by Finance Minister Colm Imbert was appointed to look for a vessel following a failed attempt by the Port Authority of T&T (PATT).

The vessel, originally designed as a large high speed commercial ferry, was used to transport US military personnel, vehicles and equipment between Okinawa, Japan, and other ports in the Asia Pacific region. It is now based in Europe.

It was built in Australia in 2001 and is 100.99 metres in length, has a draught of 4.29 metres and travels at a speed of 35 knots. The asking price was just under $200 million.

However, there was no response from either the Office of the Prime Minister or the Minister of Finance to the offer from the vessel’s owners.

Last Friday, Imbert announced that the Government had purchased a brand new vessel for US$17.4 million and it will arrive in the country in two months.

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