Construction work at Lamu port slows down over funds

Construction work at Lamu port slows down over funds

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has announced that construction of the first three berths at Lamu Port has been slow due to financial issues.

 KPA says that Treasury has been releasing money for the project intermittently, delaying construction works at the site.

Managing director Gichiri Ndua said that Construction of the three berths at Lamu Port is ongoing but work is continuing at a sluggish pace. He however expressed confidence that the project will pick up

The Lamu Port project was launched by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2012.

Development of the entire $23 billion (Sh2.3 trillion) Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project has also been stalled as a result of new infrastructure projects in Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.

According to transport experts, Ethiopia is now more focused on the 700 km Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)-Djibouti railway line which is under construction.

The $4billion (Sh408.2 billion) project is expected to increase Djibouti port capacity by Ethiopia which facilitates 80 per cent of its international trade.

Uganda is also considering an alternative crude oil pipeline route, having signed an agreement with Tanzania for feasibility studies of an oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanzania’s Tanga port.

 This could derail the 1,500 kilometre Hoima-Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline deal between Kenya and Uganda.

Vision 2030 acting director general Gituro Wainaina however last month said Kenya will not be deterred by other regional projects.

Treasury CS Henry Rotich also said Kenya is still pursuing the crude oil pipeline deal.

President Uhuru has postponed thrice the launch of the Berth construction with the latest being on May 25.

The LAPSSET project includes a 32 berths port at Manda Bay, Standard Gauge Railway line to Juba and Addis Ababa, road network, oil pipelines (Southern Sudan and Ethiopia), an oil refinery, three airports and resort cities at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana.