Port acquires Sh1.1B tugboat to boost efficiency
The tugboat is expected to improve marine operations at Coast
Ports Authority has acquired a new state-of-the-art tugboat to boost efficiency.
Christened Eugene, the Sh1.1 billion tug arrived at Mombasa port on Monday
to a tumultuous welcome by KPA staff and the port community. She is named
after the late captain, Eugene Okoth, who died while on duty early last year.
The tugboat is the first of its kind in East and Central Africa and will be
instrumental in undertaking marine operations including berthing
and un-berthing of ships. She becomes the largest tugboat in a fleet of five.
The boat is fitted with advanced and powerful Caterpillar “E” series engines and has a length of 32 meters. It took a crew of ten, 26 days to safely steer the tug from Cheoy Lee Shipbuilders in China to Mombasa. Its construction lasted a year. Acquisition of the boat guarantees two to three simultaneous vessel movement at any given time. This translates to optimal availability of four compared to the current situation of three whenever one tug is out of service due to maintenance or breakdowns. Amani Komora, General Manager Human Resources, urged KPA staff to focus on productivity. “We have delivered a tug that is superior than the previous ones because we want to improve on quality,” Mr Komora said. He promised marine engineers and other technical staff support and training programmes to keep them abreast with changing technology to ensure the equipment remains well maintained. The boat will also provide fire suppression at sea, maritime pollution control and berthing. Additionally, it has capability to execute tug services within and outside the harbour. Addressing the ceremony Rashid Salim, General Manager Engineering Services, praised the acquisition saying it comes in handy in allowing operations to continue smoothly. He said that other mega projects lined up include acquisition of a pilot boat worth Sh600 million to be deployed to Lamu port in preparation for the start of operations set to start next year when the first berth will be ready. Meanwhile, 13 container vessels docked at the container terminals recording ship average working time of 2.31 days in the week ended July 18. The import container dwell time registered 4.10 days. The vessels discharged 14,359 TEUS full and empty and loaded another 12,671 TEUS. Container deliveries by road transport recorded 8,938 TEUS while the standard gauge railway evacuated 4,631 TEUS. Import population breakdown showed that 4,470 TEUS were bound for the local market while transit cargo was 4,845 TEUS. Uganda, KPA’S leading customer accounted for 4,083 TEUS, an equivalent of 84.27 per cent. Other countries in the transit market included Tanzania that recorded 213 TEUS, South Sudan 202 TEUS, the Democratic Republic of Congo 186 TEUS, and Rwanda with 117 TEUS. During the week under review, the conventional cargo terminal docked 17 cargo ships handling a total of 263,898 metric tonnes at an average of 37,700 metric tonnes per day. Bulk clinker imports recorded 96,495 metric tonnes to emerge the leading commodity, followed by bulk wheat import at 80,965 metric tonnes. Other commodities included 56,982 metric tonnes of bulk coal, 17,299 metric tonnes of steel and 4,323 metric tonnes of bulk fertiliser. There were also 675 units of motor vehicles and 249 trucks.