Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is under pressure to expand and modernize the Mombasa port. Dredging of the Kilindini Harbour is expected to be finished four months earlier.
The work of dredging the channel to a depth of 15 metres and width of 500 metres, which is carried out by a Dutch firm Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, will be completed this month instead of August. According to Business Daily, the project will enable the channel to accommodate larger vessels.
Freight agent, Peter Mwangi, said: “The challenge is now for the government to move fast and prepare the port to handle bigger vessels. A shallow entry has been a hitch, but now that has been addressed and work must be turned to ensuring that cargo handling facilities are sufficient.”
The largest ship ever to sail through Kilindini Harbour, MSC Jade, docked last week in the port.
MSC Roberta, another large ship, is due to dock at the port this week and discharge 1,712 TEUs of cargo and load another 3,950 TEUs.
KPA stated: “Bigger capacity ships are expected to call at the port as they will enjoy economies of scale.”
Mombasa port could previously accommodate ships with a length of 200 metres and 2,000 TEU, and after the dredging it will be able to accommodate ships of up to 4,500 TEUs.
Dredging Today Staff, April 9, 2012; Image: vanoord