Dutch firm Koole BV has been awarded a GY$1.38 billion (US$6.6 million) contract to remove 17 hazardous wrecks from Guyana’s waterways as marine activities surge.
The company specialises in industrial demolition, remediation, wreck removal, and marine construction. This is its second wreck removal contract for Guyana. Some of the wrecks to be cleared have reportedly been in existence since the mid-1900s, according to the Department of Public Information.
Director General of Guyana’s Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), Captain Stephen Thomas noted at the signing ceremony on Monday that the country’s ports are hazardous to seafarers. But this stance is set to change when the wrecks are removed.
Their removal is also said to be integral to the development of two major projects for the country: the Vreed-en-Hoop Shore Base and the Gas-to-Energy project. It will also significantly decrease the insurance risks posed to vessels calling on Guyana’s ports.
“The country is advancing, and it is, therefore, necessary for us to make our waterways safer for ships by removing these 17 wrecks quickly and efficiently,” Minister of Public Work Juan Edghill commented.
The wreck removal project is expected to be completed within eight months and will cover the entrances to the Demerara, Berbice, Pomeroon, Waini, and Essequibo rivers and off the Coast. This will also support plans to make the Demerara channel suitable for two-way traffic. At present, the Demerara channel can only facilitate marine traffic in one direction at any given time.
Last December, Minister Edghill revealed that weekly calls at the Georgetown Port increased to 52, from just seven vessels before offshore operations started.
And with more projects coming on stream in the Stabroek Block, this number is expected to climb even higher.