28 June 2013, Nairobi – Kenya Ports Authority is putting up a Sh544 million power sub-station to upgrade its electricity supply. The Kipevu project which commenced in August last year is expected to be complete by February 2014.
It will boost power supply at the port from 11Kv to 132 Kv from the national grid. Speaking to the Star in Mombasa yesterday, Joseph Birir, head of electrical engineering at KPA said the upgrade project will also meet the envisaged increased demand from the current 5MVA to 30MVA.
He said the project will serve berth No 19 powering the expected three ship to shore gantry cranes, mobile harbour cranes and other port operation equipment that will used at the new berth.
“The project will enable the port meet the electricity demands of the existing facilities and future expansion projects,” Birir said. He said the 1.2 million TEUE capacity second container terminal currently under construction will also draw up to 5 MVA from the sub-station.
“With the completion of this project, power blackouts at the port of Mombasa will become a thing of the past. Cost benefit analysis done on the project’s viability was in favor of the port management’s decision of buying the expensive machinery,” Birir said.
He said the impact of grid failure to the port of Mombasa is intolerable as the port has had to use back-up generators to avoid a standstill in its operations.
The project is being implemented jointly by Consolidated Power Projects of South Africa and Power Gen Technologies of Kenya.
Kenya Power will design and supervise the project which includes installation of two giant step down transformers. The upgrade project is expected to salvage port operations and related activities against frequent power outages.
Recently, the port suffered an eight hour blow during a major blackout experienced in the entire country. Last month, KPA MD Gichiri Ndua termed power outages as the biggest challenge in port operations.
– The Star