Mombasa court halts procurement of new ferries from Turkey over poor quality

The new ferry, the MV Jambo Mombasa, in Turkey. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Mombasa, KENYA: A Mombasa high court has ordered  the construction of new ferries by a Turkish company to be halted and the company prevented from conducting any tests pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed at the court.

Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors Limited which provided consultancy services for project supervision and ferries inspection over the ferries that are being constructed by Ozata Tersanecilik san ve tic STI ,  on Wednesday moved to court claiming there were several issues with the quality and safety of the ferry currently being constructed.

Documents filed at  the court indicated that the engines were  full of rust, the Quality Control person had not inspected the engines prior to deliver and the Volvo Penta engines that had been delivered were different and of low quality, compared to the Scania engine that had been agreed in the technical specifications in the Build Contract.

Kenya Ferry services Limited entered into a contract with an international company, OzataTersanecilik San Ve Tic Ltd STI on 27th June 2015 to design, build, supply and commission two new passenger/vehicle ferries at a total cost of USD 18,630,000. (sh. 1.9bn)

But the petitioner has now claimed that the main building contract has been varied by a further sum of USD 3,134,365.63 (sh. 32.5 million) without any justification.

“Kenya ferry services limited has failed to provide answers on why it was permitting the use of low quality materials in construction of the ferries against the express quality standards agreed in the contract with the ship builder and why the contract has been varied by a whopping USD 3,134,365.63 yet the quality is severely compromised,” read part of the court documents.

A firm providing consultancy services further says Kenya Ferry Services has failed to pay them sh. 28.5M for services rendered and instead are saying the Petitioner has not availed the Value for Money Report as per the Consultancy Contract.

Justice Erick Ogolla directed the petitioner to serve the respondent and set inter party hearing on 25th July, 2017.

Report from the Kenya Ferry services limited showed that one ferry was completed and was being transported to the country from Turkey.

President Kenyatta is set to launch the new ferry on 27th July 2017.

The new vessel, MV Jambo Mombasa, is expected to start operations at the channel at the end of this month after its arrival from Turkey.

This comes a day after two ferries operating along the Likoni channel broke down forcing Mtongwe ferry services to be stopped as the ferry is now operating along the Likoni.