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Cranes improve Mombasa Port operations

The newly acquired state-of-the-art four Ship-to-Shore Gantry Cranes (STS) will bolster the Port of Mombasa’s efficiency, says Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen.

Speaking at the Port of Mombasa when he witnessed the offloading of the STS at berth number 16, CS Murkomen said the cranes herald a new dawn in port efficiency and modernization.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Kipchumba Murkomen giving a press briefing during the offloading of the four Ship-to-Shore Gantry cranes aboard ZPMC vessel at the Port of Mombasa berth 16. Photo by Sadik Hassan

The arrival of the four STS follows the decommissioning of the previous equipment, which served the port for the past nineteen years.

“One of the most striking advancements these cranes bring is in the domain of speed. As the heartbeat of efficiency, these new cranes boast a remarkable hoisting speed of 80 metres per minute, effortlessly lifting a maximum of 65 tonnes in a twin-lift motion.

This achievement outpaces the capabilities of their predecessors, which held a hoisting speed of 70 metres per minute. Additionally, the trolley speed of these modern giants clocks in at an impressive 240 metres per minute, compared to the previous 180 metres per minute,’’ said CS Murkomen.

The four STS have the capacity to handle bigger vessels of 21 containers across, compared to the previous, which handled only 18 containers across.

“The acceleration of speed is a reflection of our pursuit of excellence, of our unwavering commitment to minimising downtime, and of our dedication to serving the needs of global trade with precision,” said Murkomen.

The Port of Mombasa currently boasts a contingent of 16 STSs, 25 Reach stackers, with four more anticipated, and a fleet of 27 Empty Container Handlers to be procured.

To solidify KPA’s commitment to modernization and capacity, CS Murkomen disclosed that the Port of Lamu is set to receive three Ship-to-Shore Gantry cranes.

As a result of the acquisition of modern equipment, the Port of Mombasa in the first half of 2023 recorded a remarkable increase of 3.3 per cent. Cargo handling has surged from 17.48 million tonnes handled in 2022 to 18.06 million tonnes.

Container traffic recorded an increase of 8.5 per cent rising from 722,063 TEUs to 783,125 TEUs.

“These numbers reflect our strategic dedication, paving the way for promising growth. Our projection of handling 34.5 million tonnes (1.4 percent more than 2022) and 1.56 million TEUs (7.7 percent growth from 2022) underscores our unwavering commitment to progress,” said CS Murkomen.

He went on: “These figures are more than statistics; they embody our journey’s momentum, the power of our strategies, and the promise of even greater accomplishments in the maritime realm.”

The CS noted that investment in modern equipment resonates with KPA’s commitment to meet the ever-evolving needs of partners, stakeholders, and the global trade network.

“As we embrace these four new cranes, we are not merely acquiring equipment; we are fostering our capacity to handle current trade volumes while seamlessly embracing future growth,” he said. “We stand as a beacon, illuminating the path for imports and exports, igniting economic prosperity not only within our nation but throughout the region.”

The CS was accompanied by KPA Board of Directors Chairman Benjamin Tayari and KPA Managing Director Captain William Ruto. The KPA Chairman termed the cranes a game changer in improving port efficiency.

By Sadik Hassan

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