Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has begun the process of moving heavy equipment from the Port of Mombasa to Lamu Port as Kenya prepares to open the new facility’s doors on June 15 this year.
KPA has sub contracted Comarco, a leading marine and specialized contractor, with over forty years’ experience, to move the equipment in two shipments from Mombasa to Lamu.
On Saturday and Sunday Comarco and port of Mombasa engineers started loading the equipment that do not need stable loading and offloading for the first shipment.
The first ship will leave the port of Mombasa today Monday and will be in Lamu 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.
On May 5, KPA will transport the sensitive equipment that requires stability.
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.
The same firm 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 20.
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.
KPA official Ernest Mbalanya who supervised the work, said that they 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.
“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,” he said.
The government has so far built the first three berths at the Lamu Port at a cost of more than Sh40 billion. Each berth measures 400 metres and can accommodate the longest ship in the world.
The berths were constructed by China Communication Construction Company (CCC).