Kenya becomes the second African country after South Africa to own salvage boats after the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acquired a $16.65 million multipurpose salvage tugboat and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes at $28.9 million.
The salvage tugboat bought from Turkey and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes from Japan will boost efficiency and bulk handling activities at the second container terminal. This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order for port efficiency to boost businesses in East Africa.
The multipurpose tugboat boat will provide rescue services, marine salvage, fire suppression at sea and control maritime pollution.
KPA general manager operation and harbour, Sudi Mwasingo said the newly acquired salvage tugboat will open new markets for port operators.
KPA has already received business requests for the use of the tugboat for rescue marine operations during emergencies.
Mr Sudi said the cranes will assist the port in terms of efficiency, increased berth throughput, faster ship turnaround and reduced waiting time.
“The decision to acquire the salvage boat was reached after we established that KPA was incurring a lot of expenses in hiring salvage services,” said Mr Mwasingo.
The new vessel will be driven by two SCHOTTEL RudderPropellers type SRP 710 with an input power of 3,700 kW each at an input speed of 1,000 rpm. The SRPs feature propellers measuring 3.4 meters in diameter. The azimuth thrusters will be powered by diesel engines.
Furthermore, one hydraulically-driven SCHOTTEL Transverse Thruster type STT 170 (250 kW) will ensure maximum maneuverability.
“The crane has a capacity of moving to and fro the ship containers 40 moves per hour with a hoisting speed of the load a maximum of 80 metres per minute traveling along the rails above 45 metres per minute. It’s modern equipment. This will improve the productivity of the port and deal with congestion issues,” said Mr Wanga.