Kenya Ports Authority has acquired a shilling 1.9 billion multipurpose salvage Tugboat to undertake rescue marine operations during emergencies.
The Authority has invested in the modernization of its marine vessels in line with the corporate equipment modernization and maintenance program, which has since its inception contributed significantly towards enhancing port efficiency.
While receiving the vessel christened Mkokozi 1, which took 20 days to arrive from Turkey, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) General Manager Operation and Harbour Sudi Mwasingo said, the decision to acquire the salvage boat was reached after it was established that the Authority was incurring a lot of expenses in hiring salvage services.
He said the boat will effectively provide rescue services, fire suppression at sea, maritime pollution control, and marine salvage.
The engineer cited last year’s instance, when a cargo vessel MV Theresa Arctic ran aground near the entrance to the Kilifi Creek while sailing to the Port of Mombasa, the Authority has forced services of an international firm to salvage the vessel.
Mwasingo said, the boat will boost the Authority’s revenue streams saying, in the entire African region it is only in South Africa that one could find salvage boats.
Mkokozi 11 is equipped with main and auxiliary systems from SCHOTTEL to enable it to achieve an expected bollard pull of more than 120 tonnes. The Robert Allan RAstar 4200 (MED-A42120) design vessel is considered the largest tugboat on the East African coast of the Indian Ocean.
The new vessel will be driven by two SCHOTTEL RudderPropellers type SRP 710 with an input power of 3,700 kW each at an input speed of 1,000 rpm. The SRPs feature propellers measuring 3.4 meters in diameter. The azimuth thrusters will be powered by diesel engines. Furthermore, one hydraulically-driven SCHOTTEL Transverse Thruster type STT 170 (250 kW) will ensure maximum maneuverability.
This highly effective propulsion system will enable the tug to provide more efficient ship handling and coastal towing services. Measuring 42 meters in length at a width of 16 meters, the salvage tug is equipped with extensive towing facilities, extinguishing monitors for firefighting, external bilge systems for leak detection, workshops, ship cranes, and dinghies.