Tuesday, May 28, 2024

GPA promises two new ferries as pressure mounts to decommission Kunta Kinteh, Kanilai 

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By Hadram Hydara

The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) say it is awaiting the African Development Bank’s contract signature to finance the commissioning of a new ferry while the government has directed the GPA to engage a shipbuilder for the provision of another ferry.

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GPA say the two new ferries are anticipated to be delivered within 16 months following the contract signing. These vessels, according to GPA, will serve the Banjul and Barra crossing points, enhancing capacity.

“GPA awaits approval from the African Development Bank to sign the contract for the new ferry being financed by the Bank. [The] Government has also conveyed its decision and the Ministry of Transport has issued instructions for GPA to contract the shipbuilder for the supply of an additional ferry.

“These 2 new ferries will be delivered within 16 months from contract signing and will be deployed along the Banjul and Barra crossing points to provide additional capacity.”

Furthermore, GPA confirms that it will invite private sector participation in the sustainable management and operations of ferry services and that efforts are already underway to conclude a private partnership.

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“… GPA will invite private sector participation for the sustainable management and operations of ferry services, once the major capital investment in the fleet is achieved. The involvement of the private sector will introduce new management systems that will enhance reliability in schedules, revenue collection, segregated traffic and improved customer service. The private sector will also invest in a second lander for operational safety.

“Efforts are underway to conclude on a private partnership to invest in the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Banjul Shipyard to ensure that adequate facilities are available for the sustainable maintenance of the ferries.”

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