KPA to buy salvage boat

Mombasa – June 27, 2018

Plans are underway for the Authority to purchase a multipurpose salvage Tugboat to undertake rescue marine operations during emergencies.

The 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 salvage.

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KPA Board Chairman Gen. (Rtd) Joseph R. Kibwana (4th left) is conducted on a tour of the Dockyard facilities by General Manager Engineering Services Eng. Rashid Salim (3rd left), Head of Marine Engineering Eng. Stephen Toya (2nd right) among other senior staff.

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.

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Fredrick Mwashighadi, an electrical/electronics engineer explains to the KPA Board Chairman Gen. (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana how an alternator test machine functions.  

"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 dock). 

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.