New Off Shore Patrol Vessel for Trinidad and Tobago
British shipbuilding group, VT Group, has been contracted by the government of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) to build and manage three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV). First contracts were signed in Trinidad on Thursday April 5, 2007 and construction of the first of the OPV’s started on January 23, 2008 when the High Commissioner for T&T in England, Glenda Morean-Phillips, started the steel cutting process at VT’s shipbuilding yard in Portsmouth Naval Base.
The first of the 295 ft. (90m.) vessels will be handed over in 2009. The patrol vessels will be operated by the Coast Guard of T&T and are designed to be used for a range of Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) management, special operations and maritime law enforcement tasks. Among the many tasks are environmental protection, fishery protection and anti-drugs operations.
The programme, which was part of a proposal from the Government of the United Kingdom and VT Group to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, is valued at more than £150 million ($298 million).