Kenya is transforming the port of Mombasa into a "green" facility, in line with a global maritime initiative to help mitigate the effects of carbon emissions.
Under the initiative spearheaded by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), shippers will from as early as next year, be required to adopt new measures to address the negative impact of their operations on the environment.
As part of ongoing talks, member states of the IMO met recently in London where the duration of short, medium and long-term measures formed part of the agenda. Provisional agreements are to be ratified at the Marine Environment Protection Committee meeting of the IMO in April next year.
Energy-efficient harbour cranes
In Kenya, the port management has already acquired energy-efficient mobile harbour cranes, and is developing a waste management plant. The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is also putting up terraces in steep areas. Other measures include replacing asbestos roofs with aluminium sheets to allow rain water harvesting and installation of solar panels.
"The cranes will provide dust- and spillage-free unloading through a system that also cuts running expenses by 30 per cent on average," said KPA managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi.
The project is being implemented under the Mombasa Resilient Infrastructure Programme with funding from TradeMark East Africa.
Also on the cards is the establishment of the Maritime Technology Co-operation Centre to aid data collection on ship fuel consumption, and the adoption of low-carbon technologies. It is being hosted by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) -- which will submit the data to the IMO database -- and KPA.
"These pilot projects are meant to give insights into decarbonisation of the maritime and shipping industry," said KMA acting director-general Cosmas Cherop.