KENYA PORTS AUTHORITY (Mombasa) --
Plans are underway for the Authority to purchase a multipurpose salvage Tugboat
to undertake rescue marine operations during emergencies.
investment in the modern Azimuth Stern Driven (ASD) tug is in line with the
corporate equipment modernization and maintenance program that has since its
inception contributed significantly towards enhancing port efficiency.
Head of Marine Engineering Eng. Stephen Toya says the boat will cost the
Authority at least Kshs 1.7 billion and will effectively provide rescue
services, fire suppression at sea, maritime pollution control and marine
Besides the above mentioned, the powerful ASD Tugboat will have capability to
execute Tug services within and outside the harbour.
Eng. Toya made the revelation in his office to the KPA Board Chairman Gen. (Rtd)
Joseph Kibwana who was on a familiarisation tour at the Dockyard area.
"We have three capital projects key among them is acquisition of the salvage
tug boat and we are working very closely with global renowned designer Robert
Allan to develop the specifications," said Eng. Toya.
He explained to the Board Chairman that the decision to acquire the salvage
boat was reached after it was established that the Authority was incurring a lot
of expenses in hiring salvage services.
The engineer cited last year’s instance when a cargo vessel MV Theresa
Arctic ran aground near the entrance to the Kilifi Creek while sailing to
the Port of Mombasa.
"We hired the services of an international firm to salvage the vessel and the
Authority was spending a lot of money per day," he said.
Toya further observed that upon acquiring the tug, it would boost the
Authority’s revenue streams saying in the entire African region it is only in
South Africa that one could find salvage boat.
The Head of Marine Engineering also disclosed that plans are underway for the
purchase of a pilot boat worth Kshs 600 million to be deployed at Lamu Port.
"The pilot boat is earmarked for Lamu and it will go to tender before July
this year," he said.
The Chairman also heard that the department wants to commercialize dry
docking facilities through introduction of a floating dock, another mega project
estimated to cost about Kshs 1 billion.
"There are only two dry docking facilities in the region namely Southern
Engineering Company Limited (SECO) and African Marine and General Contractors (AMGECO)
and therefore following the recommendation of the former Board for us to
diversify our services, we opted for this project whereby we will be charging
ship owners for the services rendered," he added.
Toya said the project to be undertaken in two phases had started whereby the
tender for phase one which is infrastructure development closes on July 5th,
2018. Phase two of the project will be the acquisition of the hardware (floating
Gen. (Rtd) Kibwana who was flanked by the General Manager Engineering
Services Eng. Rashid Salim encouraged the engineers to be innovative and think
about the future of the Port of Mombasa as well as the Lamu Port.
During his tour the Chairman met engineers Fredrick Mwashigadi
(Electrical/electronics) and George Kariuki (Marine electronics) who spearheaded
the invention of impressed current anti-fouling system that protects Pilot Boat
Nahodha II from marine corrosion.