Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) expects to commence operations at the Lamu Port within the next two months.
KPA in collaboration with Comarco-a marine firm subcontracted to move the heavy equipment- has started moving heavy equipment from the Mombasa Port to the new facility in Lamu County over the weekend.
The new equipment are expected to facilitated loading and offloading of cargo at the three berths constructed at a cost of Kshs. 40 billion.
The ship carrying the equipment left the Mombasa Port on Monday and is expected to arrive at Lamu Port on Tuesday.
On the first shipment, they will be moving four terminal tractors, eight skeletal trailers, two forklifts, two low-bed trailers, four lateral mark buoys and assorted lifting equipment which will be installed in the first three berths which have been constructed by the government.
On May 5, KPA will transport the sensitive equipment that requires stability.
“This forms the initial phase of transporting equipment that is critical in cargo handling to the new Lamu Port. We shall be carrying out a second shipment that will involve the bigger cranes that are used in loading and offloading from ships on May 5,” said Ernest Mbalanya, KPA representative.
They will be loading two rubber-gantry cranes, one Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) scanner, two mobile cranes and other equipment needed for operation of the facility.
Cormaco is expected to transfer a gigantic Rubber-Tyred Gantry Crane (RTGC) soon after making the first delivery.
Other crucial equipment required to start port operations will have been transferred to Lamu Port by May 20th.
The hardware included four Kalmar terminal tractors, eight skeletal trailers, one 25- tonne forklift, one five-tonne forklift, two low bed trailers, two (20) spreaders and two (40) spreaders and one over- height spreader.
Other equipment loaded on the 106-metre long barge that will be sailing at a speed of five knots also include lifting gears, one forklift boom attachments, three rail chains as well as four lateral mark channel buoys (navigational aid devices) each complete with 20 metres chain attachment.
According to Mbalanya who supervised the work, the engineers executed the loading of equipment with precision to avoid damage and took consideration of adverse sea weather before sailing off.
He said they have drawn a detailed plan to ensure a safe voyage for both cargo and crew who will be transporting the gears.
Each berth measures 400 metres and can accommodate the longest ship in the world.
The berths were constructed by China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) with full funding from the exchequer.