Two ferries to arrive next year after KFS delayed payments
Vessels were to arrive in December, but delivery was pushed back to April next year after Kenya Ferry Services failed to pay Turkish company on time
Commuters and motorists using the Likoni Ferry will have to wait until April next year for two modern vessels to arrive.
The ferries were supposed to arrive in December this year, but are still being built in Turkey after delayed payments, Kenya Ferry Services managing director Bakari Gowa has said.
The government allocated Sh1.1 billion to KFS for the purchase of new ferries and repair of old ones. The management travelled to Turkey recently to check on the progress. Gowa said KFS had made advance payments when it signed the contract, “but issues arose when the letter of credit was not delivered on time.”
A letter of credit is issued by a bank to another financial institution, usually in a different country, as a guarantee of payments.
“The LC is now in place and we expect the process to move on smoothly. Based on projections, the vessels will delay by three or four months,” Gowa said.
He spoke to the press yesterday on the sidelines of an event to celebrate Customer Service Week.
Gowa said the ferries will be fitted with CCTVs to enhance security and will be spacious to accommodate more vehicles and commuters.
“They will be double-decked vessels. The lower side will be designated for vehicles while the upper side will be for people. The upper side will have seats,” he said.
Only four ferries the MV Likoni, Nyayo, Kilindini and Kwale operate in the Channel. The MV Harambee was withdrawn for repairs.
KFS engineers are installing two new engines, bought for Sh22 million, on the MV Harambee. After repairs, one of the two new ferries, either the MV Likoni or the MV Kwale, will be deployed to operate in the Mtongwe Channel. The Mtongwe Channel requires a lighter vessel, according to KFS management.
Kenya Ferry Services managing director Bakari Gowa speaks to a driver at the Likoni Channel in Mombasa yesterday/