Tideland Signal Limited, a British-based member of the Tideland group of companies, has won another major contract to supply buoys and lanterns for the port at Mombasa.
Previous orders have come from the Kenya Ports Authority, but the current order was placed by Van Oord of the Netherlands, which has improved access to Mombasa by dredging the Kilindini Channel to a depth of minus 15 metres. Under the contract, Tideland has supplied five SB-2200 buoys complete with SolaMAX 140 lanterns, MaxiHALO-60 flashers and mooring sets, as well as thirteen RL-170 LP LED range lanterns. The Kenya Ports Authority has considerable experience with Tideland’s LED lanterns and the V03 Informer AIS AtoN unit, which broadcasts the position of the buoy on which it is located and its status to shipping.
Tideland’s SB-2200 buoy features an asymmetric twin-keel hull design that enables it to remain upright in fast currents, optimising the performance of the lantern beam for range and visibility. It is manufactured from rotationally moulded polyethylene with a solid core of expanded polystyrene foam, making it virtually unsinkable as the integral foam core prevents excessive water ingress in the event of a collision.
Various lanterns from Tideland’s SolaMAX range have already been installed extensively elsewhere in the port of Mombassa. Like the other models in the range, SolaMAX 140 is a compact, lightweight design, featuring integral solar panels charging a sealed lead acid battery via a solar regulator. All the internals, including the long-life LEDs and high-integrity electronics, are contained within a tough UV-resistant polycarbonate enclosure and will even withstand being temporarily submerged in salt water. The only time the lantern needs to be opened would be to change the battery, recommended after 5 years operation.
The thirteen Tideland RL-170 range lanterns defining the access channel from the outer to inner harbour have a range of 12.6NM and show a 24 degree beam. The use of high-performance LEDs enables the RL-170 to combine long visual range with extremely low power consumption. There is a choice of low and high power options, with both types offering variable power settings for field intensity control. They are used to mark rivers and canals as well as channels and are often installed in pairs, with one positioned above and behind the other so that mariners can establish a centre line by keeping the lights vertically aligned.
Mombasa is Kenya’s largest port, offering a wide range of shipping services to key destinations around the world including Western Europe, Asia, the Far East, the Americas and the rest of Africa. There are regular feeder services between Mombasa and Dar-es-Salaam, Durban, Mogadishu, Djibouti, Salalah and Dubai. In addition to deepening the Kilindini Channel, Van Oord has also widened it so that it measures at least 300 metres across, while the turning circle has also been dredged to minus 15 metres and widened to 500 metres. According to the Kenya Ports Authority, Mombasa will be able to handle ships of 4,500 TEUs capacity. The dredging project which was finished ahead of schedule, took 18 months to complete and cost $62 million.
Dredging Today Staff, May 22, 2012; Image: tidelandsignal