By Philip Mwakio
The Kenya Ports Authority has acquired a state of-the-art container handling crane simulator to boost training of its operators.
The Port of Mombasa becomes the first and only seaport to invest in this technology in the East and Central Africa region.
The Sh73.5 million modern training equipment, which will be installed at Bandari College in October, will be delivered soon.
According to a statement from the KPA Corporate Communications Department availed to The Standard on Sunday, the cost is inclusive of installation and orientation.
“The equipment has been built by Applied Research International (ARI) Ltd of India, one of Asia’s leading maritime training institutions offering a wide range of training solutions to the maritime industry,” the statement said.
ARI offers programs designed for every stage of career in merchant navy, from pre-sea training and distance learning programs for cadets, to the highest competency and professional training for senior officers, including pilots.
The simulator’s features include a replica operator’s cabin, seats, control console, high fidelity visual system, sound system, motion platform and trainer station equipped with a CCTV camera.
The camera is modestly integrated into the trainee cab to capture facial expressions and overall behaviour of the trainee during operation.
“A KPA technical team has just returned from India where they carried out inspection and testing of the simulator prior to shipment,” added the statement.
The crane simulator is customised to the quay cranes, rubber tyre gantry and mobile harbor cranes.
The simulator can replicate nighttime darkness, moon and other ambient lighting, daytime light, clouds, sun angles and reflections from the water. Tides and water height will be generated from the time of day. At the end of the training session, the simulator generates self-assessment evaluation report.
The simulator will also replicate fog and various weather conditions. The modern training kit is expected to reduce training time and enhance safety significantly.
Training of operators will now be carried out in safer and authentic environment with an inbuilt operator classification ability to determine the operators competence level and grading trainees.
Nearly 300 gantry crane operators have successfully undergone a six and-a-half-month gantry crane operators’ course at Bandari College to-date.