Uhuru presides over floatation of Kenya's first locally built ship [Photos]

The Sh2.4 billion ship puts Kenya among pioneer shipbuilding countries in Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Kisumu Pier to officially inaugurate Kenya Shipyards Limited's Kisumu Shipyard and witness the flotation of the new 1,800-tonne MV Uhuru II wagon ferry

Kenya has joined the list of countries in Africa to successfully build a ship; MV Uhuru II.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presided over the floatation of the ship at Kenya Shipyard Limited Kisumu.

Kenya Shipyard Limited is a state Company under the Ministry of Defence and was incorporated in 2020 with Treasury as its sole shareholder.

MV Uhuru II is a 100-meter vessel with a capacity of carrying up to 22 wagons and an estimated capacity of 2 million litres of crude oil per trip.

The vessel is set to start operations later this year and was constructed for Sh2.4 billion.

The construction was undertaken by the Kenya Defence Forces and Damen Shipyards, a Dutch firm.

According to KSL Deputy Managing Director Peter Muthungu, Kenya saved Sh1.3 billion by constructing the ship instead of sourcing it outside the country.

Kenya currently has six orders to construct ships for neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda.

In Africa, there are only two countries that are known to build ships and that is South Africa and Egypt. Kenya is joining that league as of now and we must be very proud.

"This facility here in addition to constructing our own ship is also going to construct ships for the neighbouring countries and also repairing and rehabilitating their ships,” Govt Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna stated during a past inspection tour at Kisumu Port.

Once commissioned, MV Uhuru II will join MV Uhuru I in ruling the Lake Victoria waters.

MV Uhuru I was renovated at a cost of Sh50 million and transports petroleum products from Kisumu Port to Port Bell and Jinja in Uganda.

The MV Uhuru was refurbished after 13 years of inactivity and earns around Sh2 million every round trip and may earn up to Sh17 million per month. It has already made over 27 journeys since it was refurbished.

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