, MOMBASA, Kenya, Nov 3 – Kenya Ferry Services has begun the process of buying two new ferries following the opening of tender bids last week.
The company invited sealed bids from firms for designing, building, supply and commissioning of two new passenger/vehicle ferries on September 4, 2014.
Speaking at the start of the process held at the company’s headquarters in Peleleza, Likoni, Kenya Ferry Services Procurement Manager Jenifer Cirindi, said: “The response has been encouraging and we believe the procurement team will be able to finalise this process within the stipulated time.”
Kenya Ferry Services Managing Director Musa Hassan Musa said the new ferries will help address the issue of increasing demand along the Likoni channel.
“We have seen a huge surge in passenger numbers, growing two-fold in the past five years, against the five ferries we current operate along the Likoni channel,” said Musa.
“We deal directly with more than 300,000 passengers and over 6,000 vehicles crossing the channel between the island and the South Coast mainland every day and this numbers are likely to increase.”
Musa said the two aged Kenya Ferry Services vessels – MV Mvita and MV Pwani, which alternated services, were decommissioned by the government last year and sold to interested parties.
This leaves KFS with five vessels in operations which include MV Nyayo, MV Kilindini, MV Harambee, MV Likoni, and MV Kwale.
“Since decommissioning of two ferries in late 2012, Mtongwe residents have had to use the Likoni ferry crossing, putting more pressure on the Likoni channel,” Musa noted.
The contract is expected to be awarded before end of this year, for delivery of the new ferries by Mid-2016.
Kenya Ferry Services was established in 1989 by the Government and has played a pivotal role in linking the island to the mainland south of Mombasa. Unlike the northern side of Mombasa that is linked by bridges at Nyali, Mtwapa Kilifi and Sabaki the south coast depends solely on the ferries.
The service is operated freely for passengers as a government social obligation and motorists pay a minimal charge.