Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has acquired a Sh 1.9 billion Multipurpose Salvage Tugboat to undertake Marine rescue operations during emergencies.
The Authority has invested in the modernisation of its marine vessels in line with the corporate equipment modernisation and maintenance programme that has since its inception contributed significantly towards enhancing port efficiency.
KPA General Manager Operation and Harbor Mr. Sudi Mwasingo said 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.
He said the boat will effectively provide rescue services, fire suppression at sea, maritime pollution control and marine salvage.
The General Manager was addressing the press after receiving the vessel christened Mkokozi 11 which took 20 days to arrive from Turkey.
“We have been hiring salvaged tugboats to salvage stalled vessels from international firms. With this sophisticated tugboat, we shall now save a lot of money,” added Sudi.
He further stated that the new tugboat will enhance KPA’s operation in ship handling. “KPA is the only habour in East and Central Africa with this state of the art tugboat,” he added.
Mwasingo 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, the Authority was forced seek services of an international firm to salvage the vessel.
He said the boat will boost the Authority’s revenue streams saying in the entire African region it is only in South Africa that one could find salvage boats.
The salvage vessel which was built by Med Marine in Turkey is installed with Two SCHOTTEL Rudder Propellers type SRP 710.
Mkokozi 11 is equipped with main and auxiliary systems from SCHOTTEL to enable it achieve an expected bollard pull of more than 120 tonnes. The Robert Allan RAstar 4200 (MED-A42120) design vessel is considered the largest tugboat on the East African Coast of the Indian Ocean.
The new vessel will be driven by two SCHOTTEL Rudder Propellers 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.
This highly effective propulsion system will enable the tug to provide more efficient ship handling and coastal towing services. Measuring 42 meters in length at a width of 16 meters, the salvage tug is equipped with extensive towing facilities, extinguishing monitors for firefighting, external bilge systems for leak detection, workshops, ship cranes and dinghies.
The state-of-the-art vessel will be a vital addition to East Africa’s largest port of Mombasa in undertaking salvage services.
Med Marine Company Business Manager Muhamed Gathan said the salvage Tugboat was the biggest to be built in their Turkey yard.
By Galgalo Bocha