Lamu port operations receive crane boost

Counties Editor's Pick Lamu Transport

Port and logistical operations within the Lamu Port have received a major boost following the importation of three state-of-the art Mobile Harbor cranes to speed up operations.

The three cranes are among five Harbor Mobile Cranes (HMCs) worth over Sh3.7 billion that KPA has bought in a bid to improve operational and logistical support within the two ports and serve the country’s two corridors.

Speaking in Lamu’s Kililana Port following the final unloading of the three cranes, the KPA Manager in Charge of Conventional Cargo Engineering, Swaleh Karuwa, expressed optimism on the impact that the three cranes would have on improving the port’s capacity.

“With each of these cranes having the capacity to handle 100 tonnes, it is fair to state that the time taken to unload containers will be shorter,” he said.

Karuwa further added that the new cranes have been designed to handle greater capacity in comparison to the old model cranes, which will further aid in marketing the port as a suitable logistical hub destination.

“The new cranes signal the desire not only by the KPA but also by the national government to ensure that the Lamu Port is utilized and aids in creating jobs and opportunities that will benefit the Northern Corridor,” he added.

The sentiments were echoed by KPA cargo operations general manager Sudi Mwasinago, who stated that the new cranes will aid in complementing the three berth capacity that the Lamu Port boasts and further market it as a viable regional transshipment hub.

“At the moment, Lamu Port is a very viable cargo and transshipment hub given the five crane capability and three berth capacity that we have here,” Sudi said.

The Lamu Port Senior Maintenance Engineer, Joseph Nyachwaya, who also spoke to KNA, stated that the KPA further expects to increase more equipment in a bid to attract shipping vessels and investors.

Lamu Port has so far handled only 22 vessels since it began operations two years ago; however, the number of vessels is expected to increase following increased investment in the Lamu Port by way of new equipment and prudent marketing by KPA.

On his part, the manager in charge of Engineering Projects Felix Ong’wen, reiterated that the new cranes will add value to the port by increasing the hub’s capacity to handle cargo regardless of the size of the vessel and the number of TEUs.

By Amenya Ochieng

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