The first of the proposed 32 berths at the Lamu port in Kenya is set to be operational in February this year. Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia made the announcement and said President Uhuru Kenyatta will grace the launch ceremony together with five other heads of state.
This berth is one of the three berths whose construction begun with dredging works in December 2016 with a delivery time of 24 months; and 45 months for the other two, all at a cost of US $480m. The government of the Republic of Kenya is fully funding the construction of the first three berths under a plan referred to as the “Short-term Plan” that is estimated to cost US $689m.
The money accounts for: dredging and reclamation; construction of berths and yards; construction of revetment, causeway and road; construction of buildings and utilities including Port headquarters, Port Police Station and Port Management Housing Scheme; procurement of equipment and tug boats; and Electric Power Connection to the National Grid and establishment of Water Reticulation Network among others.
Benefit of Lamu port
The government has structured the remaining 29 berths to be handed over to private sector investors for financing, construction and operation. Once complete, Lamu port is expected to create job opportunities not only in port operations but also in agriculture, fishery, manufacturing, logistics, transport, trade and commerce.
In addition, the port is predicted to appeal to large cargo ships and provide benefits in the region by passing on savings as a result of lower marine costs due to faster ship turnaround time, reducing the cost of doing business. Construction of second and third berths would be completed by December.