So, the boat bought by Colm Imbert more than ten years ago and which never sailed, is among four water taxi boats which Government is now trying to sell.
The MV Su, had no buyers in 2013, so one wonders if it could be sold at this time.
The MV Su was bought under the tenure of then Works and Transport Minister, Colm Imbert, at a cost of $25 million, after which another $27 million was spent on repairs which failed to correct the boat’s many defects.
The Port Authority plans advertising for sale, the water taxis MV Su, HC Olivia, HC Katia and the HC Milanica, on which valuations will be done prior to advertisement.
The Manning Government paid $36 million to buy three other used vessels, HC Katia, HC Olivia and HC Milancia, none of which are in operation. The vessels are up for sale but no one wants to purchase what appear to be non-seaworthy vessels. The closest offer so far is from scrap dealers who are willing to pay just around half a million dollars for the Su.
The PNM government paid $4.1 million to transport this vessel from Turkey to St Thomas and another $3 million to tow it from St Thomas to Curacao for repairs. Imbert refused to accept responsibility for its purchase.
In the Senate on Tuesday, Works and Transport Minister, Rohan Sinanan said between March 2010 to June 2012, the then Cabinet gave approval for Nidco, through an international broker, to take steps to sell the vessels.
But in August 2012, the then Cabinet rescinded the decision to sell the fleet of second-hand vessels and directed that the then Transport Ministry enter into a contract with the Port for another international shipping broker to value the vessels and sell them at the minimum price on a valuation basis.
Sinanan added that a valuation was done by the Maritime Services Division and in January 2013, power of attorney was given to the Port to sell/divest the vessels. He said since then, several attempts by the Port to engage a broker to sell the vessels were unsuccessful.
Over the period, Nidco also referred potential buyers to the Port. However, Sinanan added, the vessels weren’t sold, remained vested with the Port for sale and are moored at Chaguaramas.
He said the Port will make another attempt to sell them and will advertise them for sale. Prior to the ads, he said valuations will be done.
TWO WATER TAXIS