Bridge closed as KPA starts 24-hour ships pilot service

Shipping & Logistics
By Willis Oketch | Jul 01, 2023
Likoni residents walk through the floating pedestrian bridge to Mombasa. [File, Standard]

The Likoni pedestrian bridge was closed indefinitely on Friday night as Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) launched the night pilotage of oil tankers.

KPA Managing Director William Ruto said the 24/7 operation at the new Sh40 billion Kipevu Oil Terminal will reduce turnaround for ships at Mombasa port.

"This will help in lowering the price of petroleum products because the importers will not incur more expenses which they always pass on to consumers when ships take longer time in the port discharging their cargo," said Ruto.

He explained that before the launch of night pilotage, there was a policy that such ships bringing oil could only be piloted during the day but that has now changed.

The port boss explained that this trend added extra expenses because even if the ship had completed discharging oil, it had to wait until the following day for its pilotage, which delayed the ship from sailing away.

"When such a ship has completed discharge, even if it is at night, it is necessary for it to sail away instead of waiting for the next day at the expense of the importer," said the KPA boss.

The port boss, who spoke at the Kipevu terminal during the launch of night pilotage, explained that with the new move, there was already an apparent reduction in demurrage costs and hence cost of fuel.

Ruto personally piloted mv Spetses Lady Singapore at 1am from the terminal to the high seas. He said the move had helped in reducing the 12-day duration that the ship would have taken at the port under the old policy to only three.

The ship discharged 105,000 metric tonnes of transit automobile gas oil because of the efficiency of the facility.

The port boss said Kipevu was among the top 10 efficient oil terminals in the world and the only one of its kind in Africa.

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