Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced on Sunday night that the Government has been able to secure a vessel from Asia for the sea bridge.
In his nationwide address on Sunday night, Rowley said, “The cargo ferry service provider broke his contract and withdrew the vessel (the Ocean Flower 2) when wholly unacceptable terms could not be met.”
“The passenger ferry service also presented challenges due to the absence of routine dry-docking during the earlier years.”
Revealing that tender process for a substitute passenger vessel had become the sixth aborted tender at the PATT, Rowley said the Cabinet acted swiftly to appoint a sub-committee to engage international brokers to locate a suitable vessel for lease.
The National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) is being used as the contracting party.
Providing the nation with an assurance that relief is on its way, Rowley confirmed one of the brokers had found a new vessel which had not yet been put into service and was available for sale.
Rowley added, “We had all the necessary inspection, examination certification checks and sea trials were done on this vessel and after all satisfactory reports were obtained, steps have been now taken to purchase this vessel.”
Upon completion of this process, the new vessel is expected to arrive in Trinidad in the coming weeks from a port in Asia.
Rowley said, “The introduction of this vessel on the sea-bridge should see a dramatic improvement in the service capacity and reliability that would brig considerable relief to the long suffering people of Tobago from the early months of 2018.”