The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, has called for bids for the purchase of the famous MV Kabalega which sank in Lake Victoria in 2005 and is believed to be 80 metres deep South West of Port Bell.
Another marine vessel that the Ministry wants to sell off is MV Barbus which is partially submerged at Port Bell dock.
The two marine vessels belong to Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) and being disposed of under the Privatisation and Utility Sector Reform Project (PUSRP).
MV Kabalega which is a passenger Wagon Ferry, Twin Screw vessel has an estimated weight of 1,121 tons while MV Barbus which is a passenger, single screw vessel is estimated at 120 tons. MV Kalangala was constructed in 1940 while MV Barbus was constructed in 1984.
The bid security for MV Kabalega is Shs106.5 million while that of MV Barbus is Shs11.4 million. Contract award is set for December 5, 2019.
The bids come a few weeks after the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) set afloat the MV Sigulu ferry onto the waters of Lake Victoria after seven months of construction at Masese landing site. The vessel will connect Namayingo district to the Islands of Lolwe and Sigulu, providing safe means of transport to the communities of Namayingo, Lolwe and Sigulu Islands at no cost
The modern ferry which has a passenger capacity of 300 was constructed by Johs Gram-Hanssen (JGH), Western Marine Shipyard Limited Joint Venture. It has a Pay Load (Weight it can carry) 200 Tones, 15 Medium Vehicles and7 Knots (14 km/hr) Speed.
The bids also come after the Ministry of Works and Transport unveiled plans for the construction of Bukasa Port on shores of Lake Victoria. The port will provide reliable, effective and sustainable multi-modal transport system along the Central and Northern Corridor.
Expected to serve as trio-modal cargo handling facility for road, rail and water transport, the port will sit on 400 hectares on the shores of Lake Victoria. Bukasa Port will serve as an International Transportation Logistic and Business Hub center for assembling, de-commissioning, storage & re-distribution of exports/imports.
According to the ministry, the Port will be constructed in three phases, which include:
Phase 1: covers preparation of Master Plan, Preliminary Design, and construction of start-up infrastructure, Dredging, Pilling and Swamp Surcharging. This Phase will be completed in April 2020.
Phase 2: covers construction of Bukasa Port to capacity of 2.3 million tons per year, construction of shipyard and floating dock. This Phase is expected to be completed by 2021.
Phase 3: covers future extension of the Port to the capacity of 5.2 million tons and to the maximum peak of 7.5 million tons. That Phase is expected to be completed by 2030.