Private fuel transporters in Kisumu are rooting for use of the refurbished Kisumu port to ease the heavy truck traffic at the borders with Tanzania and Uganda.
Edward Ted Odero, director of Tricon International limited, said using the Kisumu Port could reduce risk of transmission of Coronavirus because there is little contact among the public.
“There will be limited contact and interaction between sailors and crew members operating the vessels as they will remain in the tanker and allow the Ugandan staff to drive locomotives and the products,” said Mr Odero, who owns fuel tankers.
Mr Odera states that the crew members will also be tested frequently for Covid-19 to ensure they are not spreading the virus.
Already mass testing for truck drivers has started in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
According to Mr Odera, up to 20 trucks would be struck off the road, in addition to reduced road accidents, with the utilisation of the port.
The first fully approved oil tankers were built and launched for operation in October 2003.
The Tug MT Harambee and two numbers of Tank Barges, Tanker I and Tanker II were built under Germanischer Lloyd’s classification at the Kisumu Marine Yard, a local manufacturer. These tank barges are the first fully compliant oil tankers certified to carry petroleum products with less than 55 degrees’ flash point.
Tanker I and Tanker II are Kenyan built and registered, which Mr Odero said had complied with structural rules for class oil tankers. He indicates that they have complied with the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), the local authorities’ representatives on pollution control and have been approved by Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) to carry products to Uganda.
"A trial operation of a dry mock run at Kenya Pipeline Company at Kisumu Port and a wet run to Jinja port were successfully carried out last year. These units are now in total readiness and on stand-by to start operations from KPC Kisumu depot to Uganda," he stated.