Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has completed the construction of the Sh500 million modern tug jetty at the marine dockyard providing Mombasa Port a critical lifeline into the future.
The new jetty which is part of the modernisation and expansion programme is set for commissioning next month and is expected to last for 80 years.
The modern facility seen as a crucial component of port operations will replace the old jetty which was demolished in 2020 after serving as a docking point for vessels for 70 years.
The demolished jetty lost its load bearing capacity, was unsafe and was its critical damaged state at the year 2010.
According to KPA Head of Marine Engineering Stephen Toys the new jetty is 50 metres long by 20.64 metres wide while its access trestle is 14.8m metres by 11.14 metres.
“The old jetty no longer supported the emerging loads placed on it and hence did not meet modern design standards and specifications,” said Toya on Thursday.
Eng. Toya said maximum availability of floating crafts is crucial to ship turnaround boosting efficiency and cutting costs, and added that the Authority’s floating marine crafts like the Tugboats and Pilot Cutters require periodic checks.
He said floating marine crafts are necessary to port business since Mombasa is classified a compulsory pilotage port that further requires towing by harbour tugs and mooring boats in securing ships to quay.
“At any given time, we can secure two boats alongside new tug jetty for repair and return them to business. We now have the luxury of moving heavy lifts cranes to the quay to lift smaller mooring boats or entire engines to shore for repair,” added the KPA official.
Previously, he said, dockyard engineers were compelled to book an empty berth as a makeshift jetty to undertake repair of marine crafts which he said was not convenient given that berths are meant for ships to spur productivity.
The port of Mombasa has lately witnessed major improvement through multi-billion infrastructural and technology investment.
The ongoing expansion programme including the construction of Sh32 billion phase two of the second container terminal are part of the measures to transform the port into a logistics hub in the region.
The phase one of the second container terminal built at a cost of Sh26 billion which involved reclaiming of a sea area of about 50 acres, creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity was commissioned in 2016.
By Mohamed Hassan