According to the Daily Nation, the Mombasa port is now able to accommodate large vessels.
The dredging project, which took 18 months to complete, was carried out by a Dutch company, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, at a cost of $62 million (Sh5.1 billion).
“The turning basin has also been dredged to a depth of 15 metres and widened to 500 metres, and the call by the two large ships is a clear indicator of some of the benefits set to be realised now that dredging has been completed,” said Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) corporate affairs manager Bernard Osero.
– The Likoni Channel, through which ships access the port, was initially 250 metres wide. After dredging, it is now over 300 metres wide.
– The turning basin, the point at which a vessel turns as it leaves the port, is now 600 metres wide and can be used by vessels that are 350 metres long.
– The harbour, where the ships dock, has been dredged to a depth of 12.5 metres from the initial 10.4 metres, while the channel is now 15 metres deep, from 13.5 metres.
According to KPA manager in charge of operations Khamis Twalib, the additional 1.5 metres is crucial for the port.
Dredging Today Staff, April 23, 2012; Image: marinekenya