Six giant cranes that were installed at the port of Mombasa to facilitate the loading and offloading of containers onto the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) cargo trains have never worked since purchase.
The equipment was bought two years ago at a cost of Ksh2 billion, each at Ksh355 million by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
Investigations by Nation revealed that when the cranes were being tested, they dropped the containers and appeared out of control.
“CRBC was asked to fix the problem. They brought in experts from China who failed to resolve the issue. They seemed to have given up and abandoned them,” an employee at the station told Nation.
In December 2018, Kenya Railway Corporation asked the Chinese contractor to replace the equipment.
Operations at the port now largely depend on the rubber-tyred gantry cranes and those owned by the Kenya Ports Authority.
Admitting that the faulty cranes have never been used, Transport CS James Macharia explained that he expected the Chinese company to replace them soon.
“The cranes will be replaced by CRBC. We had a meeting with them on Thursday and that was the agreement. The first two cranes are expected to be replaced in the next few weeks.
"I am made to understand that their shipment has already started. Eventually, we shall get new replacements for the six,” the CS disclosed.
At a cost of over Ksh300 billion, the SGR is Kenya's most expensive infrastructure project since independence.
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