President Kenyatta on Friday presided over the official commissioning of the Mombasa Shipyard at the Kenya Navy Base in Mtongwe.
The military installation is part of the Kenya Shipyards Limited (KSL) which was launched in May this year as part of government efforts to expand the contribution of the blue economy to Kenya's socio-economic transformation.
It will carry out shipbuilding activities such as refitting and maintenance services to vessels operated by the Kenya Navy, government agencies, and private operators.
The facility has a capacity of 4,000 tonnes and is set to commence operations immediately, with the first assignment being the refitting of the 1997 Kenya Navy tanker KNS Shupavu.
Speaking during the launch, President Kenyatta underscored the importance of shipbuilding to the manufacturing sector, saying that the activity would help unlock the country's immense ocean and blue economy potential, as well as create jobs for Kenyan youth.
“The direct, indirect, and induced impacts of the Mombasa Shipyard will create many jobs, generate diverse investment opportunities, and raise revenue for the country. The key sub-sectors of the blue economy, which include maritime transport and logistics, fisheries, as well as ship-building and repair, represent low-hanging fruits that must be exploited,” Kenyatta said.
Apart from the Mombasa Shipyard, KSL operates the Kisumu Shipyard where it is constructing the MV Uhuru II wagon ferry. In Nairobi, KSL is rehabilitating 31 Kenya Railways locomotives.
ODM leader Raila Odinga and Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa joined President Uhuru at the commissioning ceremony.