Minister of Works and Transport, Rohan Sinanan, has revealed that plans are in motion on a tender for a new custom-built cargo vessel for the inter-island seabridge.
This was one of the main issues sorted out, following a meeting in Tobago between the Works and Transport Minister, Port Authority of T&T officials and members of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s Tobago Division.
Sinanan told the media a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new vessel will be out in October.
He said his ministry will continue collaborating with the Tobago chamber, and, if possible, will work towards a Caricom cargo vessel to serve the region’s needs.
Sinanan said, “Most of the concerns were presented to us before and we have found solutions. Most of them are ongoing and I think coming out of the decisions today, the impression I got is that they’re quite pleased with it. We will work together to make sure that whatever challenges, whatever problems are all addressed.”
“Cabinet did take a decision some time ago to go out for a custom-built, cargo vessel to suit all requirements after we did consultations in Tobago with all the stakeholders. We do have the specs for that, we are fine tuning it and as we indicated to the chamber, that very soon they will see RFP in the newspaper for a new custom-built cargo vessel built to suit our requirements, similar to what we did with the passenger service, where we have two brand new vessels built to suit our requirements. ”
He said the Government was at the final stage of procuring the vessel and once the tendering process is completed, it will take between 14 to 16 months for the vessel to be built.
He said dialogue and discussions are ongoing to address the challenges of the operation of cargo and passenger vessels between the islands while minimising losses.