Friday, February 28, 2014

PM: No done deal yet but China patrol boat better than OPVs

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters travelling with her in China that there is no final deal yet with China for the purchase of a Long Range Vessel for the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.

Speaking in Shanghai after visiting the University of Fudan Children’s Hospital in Shanghai she said financing arrangements will now have to be worked out. "It is not a ‘sign on the dotted line’ scenario. We will of course be looking for competitive advantages and will not buy a defective vessel,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said there is no comparison between the present arrangements with China and the cancellation of the Offshore Patrol Boats (OPVs) contract with BAE of the United Kingdom. That move led to an arbitration that the government won with BAE paying the T&T government more than TT$1.3 billion.

Persad-Bissessar said the cost of the LRV would be one-third that of the OPVs and added that the LRV the Chinese government is willing to sell to TT, is already built and seaworthy. She said the OPV deal had all kinds of problems and delays.

She added that before any deal is finalised a local technical team would have to tour the LRV to assess its capabilities and ensure it will be an asset to TT’s maritime patrol fleet.

The hospital she visited was built by
the Shanghai Construction Group — the same firm that's building the Couva Children’s Hospital. Persad-Bissesar said she was impressed with what she saw but said hospital is Couva would be even more impressive.

“I am quite happy with what I have seen on this tour. But I can say that ours (the Couva Children’s Hospital) will be far more advanced than this one based on the designs,” Persad- Bissessar said. 

She also stated that China will be sending about 100 medical personnel to Trinidad and Tobago.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai