President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the Kisumu Shipyard officially on Tuesday, and also witnessed the floating of the MV Uhuru II ship that is nearing its completion.
The MV Uhuru II is likely to be commissioned in 2022 (later on) to complement its older version — MV Uhuru 1 — built long back in 1966.
The vessel that boasts a capacity of 1,800 tonnes is currently being constructed by Kenya-based agencies at the Kisumu facility of Kenya Shipyard Limited, including the KDF, in collaboration with a Dutch company named Damen Shipyard.
Video Credits: The Star Kenya / YouTube
Completion of the Sh2.4 billion MV Uhuru II will fetch Kenya’s total vessel capacity at the Port of Kisumu to more than 3,060 tonnes.
The President, glad in a rain court, was seen braving heavy downpour while commissioning the project. The dignitaries accompanying him were trying to shield themselves from the rain with their umbrellas.
Before the floating ceremony, the President paid a visit to see the MV Uhuru II’s artificial impression where he was walked through the ship’s construction procedure.
This is the first vessel to be manufactured and assembled locally in the country as Kenya positions itself to tap into Lake Transport and the blue economy.
Per the Kenya Shipyard Limited, the local assembly of the vessel reportedly saved Kenyan taxpayers by at least Sh1.3 billion.
References: Star, Africa Press