VESSEL REVIEW | Ma Lisha – Indian-built ocean-going ferry for Guyanese government

Photo: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers

Indian state-owned shipbuilder Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) recently handed over a new ocean-capable Ro-Pax ferry to the government of Guyana. Named Ma Lisha after the translation of “friendship” in the South American indigenous Warao language, the ferry is notable for being the first shipbuilding project completed by an Indian defence sector company for a Latin American customer. Funding for the purchase of the US$12.7 million vessel was provided by the Indian government.

The ABS-classed ferry has a length of 69.55 metres, a beam of 13.5 metres, a draught of three metres, a displacement of 1,700 tonnes, and capacity for 276 passengers and 18 crewmembers plus assorted freight totalling 250 tonnes. A standard freight load will consist of 14 cars, two lorries, and 10 containers. Loading and unloading of freight are done via a forward vehicle ramp while passengers board and disembark via side gangways.

Photo: Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers

The vessel also has cold storage facilities with a combined capacity of 43.98 cubic metres.

Two Caterpillar diesel engines with attached Twin Disc gearboxes can propel Ma Lisha to a maximum speed of 15 knots or enable it sail for up to 500 nautical miles in between refuelings.

The ferry is fitted with safety and evacuation equipment from SHM Shipcare. These include liferafts, an MOB boat, a davit, and fire extinguishers.

Ma Lisha will be deployed on the route between the Guyanese capital city of Georgetown and the country’s northern Barima-Waini region near the border with Venezuela, operating in conjunction with two smaller ferries. The Guyanese government claims the new ferry’s top speed can reduce the sailing time along the route by half.

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Ma Lisha
Type of vessel:Ro-Pax ferry
Classification:American Bureau of Shipping
Owner:Guyanese Government
Builder:Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, India
Length overall:69.55 metres
Beam:13.5 metres
Draught:3.0 metres
Displacement:1,700 tonnes
Capacity:250 tonnes
Main engines:2 x Caterpillar
Gearboxes:2 x Twin Disc
Maximum speed:15 knots
Range:500 nautical miles
Firefighting equipment:SHM Shipcare extinguishers
Liferafts:SHM Shipcare
Rescue boat:SHM Shipcare
Type of fuel:Diesel
Operational area:Northern Guyana

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