Ships to switch off engines at Mombasa port in pollution curb

A cruise ship at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A cruise ship at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Ships arriving at the port of Mombasa may in the next three years be required to switch off their engines after docking for more than two hours in a move aimed at reducing pollution.

Maritime and Shipping principal secretary Nancy Karigithu, in a statement Wednesday, said the rule will be implemented once the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) completes a power supply project at berths 11 to 14 as part of a Sh6.8 billion green energy technology initiative.

The project, funded by the European Union through Trademark East Africa, is set for completion in 2020.

It will ensure vessels are supplied with electricity in a bid to reduce carbon emissions from diesel engines.

The shift to an alternative power supply by KPA, Mrs Karigithu said, will ensure the KPA fully complies with international regulations on energy efficiency for ships by cutting down on harmful diesel emissions.

“As a country, we remain committed to reducing carbon emissions. We must protect the oceans. The rate of pollution we are seeing is too alarming,” she said in a statement. “As a country will have moved a major milestone in terms of environmental protection.”

The PS said the KPA is working with Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) Africa— a global network for energy efficient shipping in improving compliance with international regulations — to implement the project.

“We have already connected power stations and are committed as a port to ensure harmful reduction from ships that dock at the Mombasa port,” KPA managing director Catherine Mturi said Wednesday in a speech read on her behalf by the corporation secretary, Addraya Dena.