Southern Engineering Company (SECO) has unveiled MV Albert Nile 1 ferry. The ferry is set to be delivered to Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) by end of November 2015. UNRA appointed Damen, a German-based firm as contractors to deliver the ferry who in turn appointed Southern Engineering to be their local partner for building it.
The ferry that is worth KES310m took eight months to build and was made from locally sourced materials starting from fabrication, carpentry, plumbing, paint and electronics. Speaking at the pre-launch ceremony, SECO General Manager, Omri Cohen said “This project is in fact a living proof that large scope projects in the maritime industry and other industries can and should be executed in Kenya and in the region. As a result, more jobs will be generated in the county and vital ship building skills will be horned locally.”
This is the fourth vessel UNRA has bought from SECO,it has a capacity of 250 people and 20 vehicles. The new vessel and other three vessels operating in Lake Albert are set to ease transport issues in Uganda.
SECO is one of the shipyards between Djibouti and South Africa with a floating dock capacity of 1200 tons and a length overall of 70 meters. It repairs more than 60 vessels every year. The company has more than 400 employees in their shipyard and has attracted customers from Uganda, Kenya; Tanzania; India; Mozambique; Dubai; South Africa, China , UK , US and Netherlands.
In the meantime, two new ferries worth KES1.3bn are being built in Turkey for use in the Kenyan coast between Mombasa island and South Coast mainland to handle the rising traffic. Turkish firm, Tersanececik Limited has already started work on the ferries. Presently, Kenya has five different types of vessels; MV Kwale, Harambee, Nyayo, Likoni and Kilindini managed by Kenya Ferry Services.