Notice: Undefined variable: header in /home/dawilfreightco/public_html/plugins/content/jnavigation.php on line 15

Strong Case for a Second Port

E-mail Print PDF

Nairobi — A second port in Lamu makes economic sense, its proponents say, since the Port of Mombasa is almost stretched. The port received 19 million tonnes of cargo last year against an installed capacity of 20 million, according to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

"The volume of cargo this year is likely to reach the maximum capacity, hence the need to construct another port if Kenya wants to remain the regional hub," said operations manager Joseph Atonga, who noted that this extra capacity ought to have been created six years ago when it approached 60 per cent capacity mark.

Competitive position

He said Mombasa would not be relegated to a feeder channel as it was feared once Lamu was completed. The two would complement instead of competing each other.

"The two ports will focus on different corridors. Whereas Mombasa port is expected to serve the traditional Uganda, Rwanda and DRC, Lamu port will handle cargo for Southern Sudan and Ethiopia," said Mr Atonga.

Former KPA managing director Jonathan Mturi said the new port would place Kenya in a competitive position.

"We are talking of a port that has the capacity to open this country to be a business hub in the whole of Africa especially because Kenya is centrally located on the continent," he said.


KPA, which manages all ports in the country, is already upgrading the port of Mombasa to ensure that it remains a transit hub through the Northern Corridor.

The process of dredging the channel to a depth of 15 metres to accommodate huge vessels began last month with the opening of tenders to identify a firm to carry out the work and assist in raising the Sh7 billion required for the project.

Six international firms submitted their bids and their technical capacity will be evaluated by the end of this month, says the tender committee.

The authority is also building a second container terminal that will create an extra capacity of 1.2 million 20-foot equivalent units compared to the current terminal which has the capacity to handle 250,000.