Kenya’s Lapsset project receives new breath of life

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Kenya's Lapsset project receives new breath of life

The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia transport corridor (Lapsset) project has received a major impetus after consortium of international investors led by the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) said that they will help finance the project.

According to State House the consortium has already agreed to inject over ($1.9 billion) to the Lapsset project in the next few months.

This is going to be a great boost to the project as recently it has slowed its momentum as there have been insufficient funding and the investors are interested in putting up three berths at the Lamu Port and financing the construction of the 537-kilometre Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo road.

According to the State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu both the Kenyan government and the South African had signed an MOU on the Sh2.5 trillion projects during the visit by President Jacob Zuma last week.

He said that the visit of President Zuma to Kenya was beneficial and they expect more development to be announced in the next few weeks.

The DBSA is wholly owned by the South African government, and has arranged funding for projects in transport, energy, water and ICT sectors.

“The Development Bank of Southern Africa remained to be the main consortium as they have already agreed to inject ($1.2 billion) to the project so that it can get going and the three additional berths at Lamu Port.

The same consortium would look to fund construction of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo road under the annuity programme at a cost of Sh71 billion ($700 million),” said Mr Esipisu.

The Lapsset project, which was commissioned by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2012, is expected to open up Kenya’s northern frontier for more trade and investment, and has been identified as the long term conduit for Kenya’s oil exports through a crude pipeline linking Lamu to the oilfields in Turkana County.

But the project has been hit by contraction delays due to financial problems after several financing countries withdrew.

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