Instead of the scheduled launch, the court directed the firm to procure marine experts to examine the seaworthiness of Sh2 billion ferries MV Jambo before its launch on Thursday.
The order temporarily restrained KFS and OZATA TERNASECILIK SAN VE TIK Limited from building the Sh2 billion ferries.
However, in his ruling on Tuesday, Mombasa High Court judge Eric Ogola allowed KFS to conduct sea-testing of the 1,391-passenger capacity vessel.
“The company can carry out a sea-test but they should contract an expert to ensure the ferry was not damaged on its way to Kenya.”
The judge also allowed the ferry service provider to move commuters and motorists across the Likoni channel.
It was finally launched by the Cabinet secretary for transport Dr. David Macharia.
Meanwhile, the court suspended construction of the second ferry which was supposed to have been delivered by December.
Ogola said KFS and the Transport ministry should have incurred extra costs to ensure the timely delivery of the ferries.
“The temporary suspension orders will stay in place until the matter is concluded.”
BORNRIZ Insurance Marine Surveyors Ltd, the complainant, sued KFS citing non-procedural termination of their contract.
They further questioned why KFS paid $3.1 million (Sh322 million) yet the quality had been compromised.
Ogola said the court had no reason to doubt some of the decisions made by KFS to guarantee safety of users and ensure timely delivery of the vessel.
He said the water transport company had proven that passenger safety was guaranteed by producing a certificate of verification issued by Bureau Veritas Marine Division.
The Turkish marine standards watchdog certified that the new ferry is safe for use, contrary to what the petitioner had cited.
He also said safety was assured as the constructors as OZATA used the best engines – Volvo
The launch came as a relief to at least 30,000 ferry users and 6,000 motorists who use the channel on a daily basis.