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Nidco asks Lloyd’s to do fresh Galleons Passage survey

Published: 
Saturday, July 21, 2018

The National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) yesterday took Lloyd’s Register to task, saying while it identified 92 non-conforming issues on the Galleons Passage the survey which was paid for and delivered on July 11 was done without all the required documents and without a physical inspection of the vessel by Lloyd’s.

In the wake of Opposition calls for the public to avoid travelling on the Galleons Passage based on the issues raised in the Lloyd’s Gap Analysis report, Nidco chairman Herbert Goerge and head of the Maritime Services Division Roland Alfred yesterday assured that safety is the number one priority.

But George was critical of Lloyd’s, saying Nidco had concerns about “inaccuracies” in the gap analysis. Nidco has since written to Lloyd’s asking that they conduct a survey of the vessel now docked in Port-of-Spain “to be able to rectify the analysis” and wants this done by next week.

The gap analysis was commissioned at the request of the MSD when Nidco sought certification in order to get the vessel reflagged. The vessel is still carrying the flag of Vanatu.

George said, “We went to Lloyd’s and I should tell you we moved from Lloyd’s China being the classification society for the vessel to Lloyd’s Trinidad. We engaged them and they took on the assignment.”

But he said Lloyd’s referred the assignment to “their technical office in Singapore. We did not hear from them until a gap analysis report was issued.”

The gap analysis, he said, considers the conditions that you have and compares against a benchmark, so for example “if SOLAS says you have to have six life rafts and the vessel has four there is a gap of two.”

He said Lloyd’s “sat in Singapore and did a desktop analysis. They remotely evaluated the structure of the boat based on the drawings they had and issued a report.”

He would admit in response to a question that desktop analysis is not unusual.

Referring constantly to the “great Lloyd’s of England,” a play on the description of the world’s top maritime agency by the Opposition this week, George recalled that in December 2017 it was on the basis of Lloyd’s pre-purchase condition survey of the then Dona Mercedes, which described the vessel as a Catamaran-Roro Passenger ferry built according to rules and regulations of Lloyd’s for classification, which was for waters not exceeding 150 nautical miles and which spoke to safety, that guided the Government’s decision to purchase the vessel.

He said it was on the basis of “something looking like the report shown to us at a news conference some days ago,” that Nidco and the Maritime Division had come to the media yesterday, because people had made “all sorts of dubious conclusions” which they wanted to correct.

George admitted, “there are similarities in what was held up and the real report, the analysis is also correct, 302 items were flagged in the report, 92 items were described as non-conforming, 60 items where they said they were unable to verify and 140 that were compliant.”

Asked how long that will delay the vessel working the seabridge, George said, “That is not a consideration, safety is more important to use, as long as it takes to get it right.”

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