The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has welcomed one of the longest ships to ever dock at the Mombasa port.
The safe navigation into the Kilindini Channel and docking of the 6000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) series container carrier, ‘Mv. MSC Portugal’ is a pointer towards realization of the dream by the port for a world class facility.
Mv. MSC Portugal with a length overall (LOA) of 304.07 meters, making her the longest and wider container ship to call at the port, was piloted into the Harbour by Capt. William Ruto. She has a draft of 14.518 meters, 40m breadth and 24.6 meters depth.
The vessel has a gross tonnage of 74,962 tonnes and cargo carrying capacity of 3,105 TEUs in hold and another 3,550TEUs on deck.
“This vessel is not just an ordinary container ship, owing to its size, she can only call at big ports, like Mombasa, Re-union, Mauritius in the region and not smaller ones,” said Capt. Ruto who is also the General Manager Operations.
He was speaking at berth No.19 quayside, when he disembarked from the vessel he piloted at a record one, and half hours from the entrance of the channel.
Flying the Liberia national flag, the container ship was expected to discharge 1000 TEUs and load a similar quantity. Until the completion of the dredging project to -15 metres, the port channel was restricted to vessels with a maximum draft of 11 metres.
The port is now capable of handling third and fourth generation vessels with capacities, ranging between 4,500 and 6,000 TEUs.
Other celebrated larger callers in the recent past, include Motor vessels, Ever Delight and Ital Mattina with a length overall of 264 meters.
Both vessels are operated by the Evergreen Shipping Line, Mv. MSC Tia, with a length overall of 261 meters and Mv. Jolly Quarzo, with a length overall of 240 meters and Mv. Jolly Perla. The vessel maiden calls were marked as achievements of the fruits of government’s commitment towards port capacity expansion.
Meanwhile, nine container ships docked at the Container terminals, recording a ship average working time of 3.31 days in the week ended April 25th.
In a statement released by KPA, the vessels discharged a total of 10,391 TEUs (Full and empty) and loaded another 10,246 TEUs as import container dwell time registered 4.98 days.
Import containers declined by -4647 TEUs, while Exports recorded a decline of -985 TEUs. The deliveries of containers by the Standard Gauge Rail (SGR) recorded 2898 TEUs, while the road transport evacuated 8579 TEUs.
During the week under review, the total Container yard population recorded 19,013 TEUs. The new population comprised 7,037 TEUs awaiting pickup order, 3,281 TEUs ready for collection, 1,750 TEUs full exports (Nominated/un-nominated) and 2023 TEUs transshipments.
Others included 3,962 TEUs empties and 960 TEUS at the Customs warehouse.
Local import population registered, 4,074 TEUs while transit bound containers recorded 3,991 TEUs, with Uganda bound cargo, recording 3,033 TEUs to retain her leading position in the transit market segment.
Other transit countries are Tanzania that registered 379 TEUs, South Sudan with 213 TEUs, Democratic Republic of Congo, with 169 TEUs, Rwanda with 146 TEUs, while Somalia and Burundi recorded 29 TEUs and 12 TEUs, respectively.
The weekly performance at the Conventional cargo terminal revealed that 14 general cargo ships docked and discharged 167,721 metric tonnes. A total of 26,849 metric tonnes were loaded for export. Cargo delivered by road transport recorded 104,387 metric tonnes while the conveyor belt evacuated 63334, metric tonnes.
Bulk wheat emerged the leading import commodity registering 63,334 metric tonnes, followed by 62,400 metric tonnes of bulk clinker and 21,000 metric tonnes of bulk illuminate exports. Other commodities handled in large quantities, included 18,812 metric tonnes of bulk fertilizer and 4,894 metric tonnes of bulk Sorghum. Motorcar carriers discharged 256 units of cars and 70 trucks.
Forecast for the next two weeks show that 21 general cargo vessels were expected to discharge 327,562 metric tonnes and load another 2492 metric tonnes. The container terminals were expected to receive 13 Ships to discharge 7247 TEUs and load 7,095 TEUs.
By Mohamed Hassan