KPA flexes its muscle in regional port competition with the acquisition of new cranes.
Port of Mombasa
Kenya Ports Authority has acquired four modern Ship-to Shore Gantry cranes worth 39.9 million dollars in the ongoing equipment upgrade and modernization drive.
The new cranes will be deployed at berth no. 16 at the Port of Mombasa, following the decommissioning of the previous equipment, after having been in operation for the last nineteen years in line with the KPA equipment replacement policy.
The modern cranes which are currently the most advanced in terms of technology at the port, boast of superior features. In comparison to the decommissioned STSs, the cranes' spreader can handle two containers per move, also known as double lift, as opposed to the previous one container per move, single lift.
Similarly, the outreach/boom length of these cranes measure 55m, compared to the previous model's 45m and a total lift of 57m, against 48 metres for the previous model.
On the aspect of speed, these new cranes are faster boasting a hoisting speed of 80 metres per second with the maximum of 65 tons in comparison to 70metres per second capability of the old equipment and a trolley speed of 240metres per second against 180 metres per second.
The cranes also have an advanced crane monitoring system, automatic steering and are also installed with an accurate container load weighing system.
These features translate to the Port of Mombasa's ability to handle bigger vessels more efficiently and in a shorter time significantly improving the port's overall productivity.
Commenting on the arrival of the new equipment, the Managing Director noted that the new equipment will boost in a big way the efficiency and productivity of the Port of Mombasa.
“This new equipment will double berth productivity & reduce ship working time at berth no.16 by nearly 40%," he said.
With the capacity expansion strategy at port facilities ongoing, KPA has embarked on aggressive equipment modernization and upgrade initiative to complement operations and keep up with the demand occasioned by increased cargo volumes.
Early this year, the Authority acquired new reach stackers, empty container handlers, terminal tractors for yard operations and five Harbour Mobile Cranes which were distributed between the Port of Lamu and Mombasa.
Last year, the Authority received yet another brand-new set of three STSs which were installed at the newly completed berth number 22 which has been operational ever since.
Currently the Port of Mombasa has a contingent of sixteen (16) STSs, twenty-five (25) Reach stackers with four more expected, twenty-seven (27) Empty Container Handlers to be procured together with three Ship to Shore Gantry cranes for the Port of Lamu.
The intricate process of offloading of the cranes will take approximately two weeks with commissioning expected in two and a half months.