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Consultant at JSC: Country paying double for Cabo Star

Published: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Captain Alfred McMillan, the lead Consultant of Magellan Maritime Services, says somebody has “more money than sense,” as he tells the Parliament’s Joint Select Committee on Land and Rural Development which is investigating issues of procurement and maintenance of the ferries, that the country is paying almost twice what it should be paying for the 28- year-old cargo vessel the Cabo Star.

McMillan said it “hurt him” that after he had “put time and energy with the Port Authority that they just go and throw away money. You are paying nearly twice for a vessel of lesser capacity, who do that? That is not my remit. I heard US$26,500 bandied about, somebody have more money than sense.”

Asked by Opposition Senator Wade Mark what is the maximum price in his view that should be paid for the aged vessel, he said “US$15,000 at max.”

McMillan was retained to oversee the transition from Bay Ferries to the Port Authority. He was subsequently asked by then Port chairman Christine Sahadeo “to do pro-bono work to give advice as to the suitability of the Superfast Galicia.”

He said he never recommended that the Galicia be terminated but his report detailed some issues with the vessel, which he said was not suitable because of the length of the ship and the draught. The vessel he said was berthing in a place which was not suitable.

The request for the analysis on the suitability of the Galicia for the sea bridge he said was borne out of a meeting when “the question of the Galicia damaging the Hyatt was brought up and the attendant problems that they had. I was then asked to detail what relevance there is for the vessel to stay here, is it suited for the purpose.”

McMillan said his report reflected concerns about the Galicia which includes: “a whole deck of the ship was a prison and under-utilised, the high fuel cost— the larger the vessel the more fuel it was burning to carry dead weight and a bigger ship carried a bigger charter rate.”

Responding to a question from the vice chairman of the JSC Rushton Paray, McMillan said no ship, which is commercially driven, will operate without a Charter Party.