Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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National Energy dry docks ships in Suriname
National Energy (formerly the National Energy Corporation of T&T) is dry docking its vessels in Suriname, a statement on the company's Web site said yesterday. “In keeping with statutory guidelines and to ensure that National Energy continues to maintain its flag-state and class certification the company is required to dry-dock its vessels periodically,” the company said. The first vessel, NEC Empress, began its scheduled special survey dry-docking in May and continued through June. Dry-docking is done every two and a half years in accordance with a set schedule to guarantee National Energy’s continued quality service.
Over a period of eight weeks the dry-docking service for NEC Empress was provided by contractor, Suriname Drydock and Shipbuilding Company SA, at the dock-yard in Paramaribo Suriname. “This scheduled dry-dock is very critical as the vessel has completed ten years of service and both aquamaster thrusters (AQM) need to be removed from the vessel and completely overhauled by certified Rolls Royce engineers, the original equipment manufacturer of the unit. This is the first time National Energy will be undertaking such an extensive job on one of its vessels,” the statement said. In addition to this service requirement, general wear and tear has made it necessary to facilitate repairs to the underwater components of the vessels inclusive of the hull, and the cathodic protection system, the company said.
Despite some challenges, the operating assets team, headed by its manager Michelle Scipio-Hosang, and supervisor of the dry-docking works, Gregory Arjun, has “been working diligently to complete the repair of the NEC Empress and return the vessel to service in the shortest possible time.” Another vessel, the NEC Majestic has reached its ten-year operating tenure and requires major repairs. It is scheduled to undergo dry-docking in August while the NEC Vision is scheduled for dry-docking in January. The company is surveying other vessels to ensure they maintain class and statutory certification. This survey is done annually to confirm the integrity of the vessels hull and machinery.
Transshipment Port and Dry Dock Project
The company also has a transshipment port and dry dock project, for which it said it “has taken a community engagement approach” and has “made it a duty to interact with all community stakeholders at the project development, execution, completion and operationalisation stages of each project under the company’s purview.” National Energy said that, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade Industry Investment and Communication, it hosted the first community meeting for the transshipment port and dry dock project to be located in La Brea.
The June 24 meeting served to introduce the La Brea community to the project and receive feedback. The Trade Ministry is the project owner while National Energy is the project manager, responsible for “the execution of the Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC),” as well as all other relevant regulatory approvals. “As project manager National Energy is managing the process for obtaining the CEC on behalf of the ministry and has initiated the process of stakeholder engagement on the draft terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment for the project,” it said.
The company promised job opportunities coming out of the project, saying that 70 per cent of the labour on the project will come from the community. The project ia expected to boost “ancillary businesses due to the growth in business activity.” Approximately 40 people attended the meeting, including Permanent Secretary Norris Herbert, La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey, Councillor for the area Gerald Debissette and representatives of several La Brea community organisations.