On Course: Kenya Ports Authority nears delivery of second container terminal

Home » News » On Course: Kenya Ports Authority nears delivery of second container terminal

Second terminal is just part of the Authority’s ambitious modernization and expansion

Kenya has experienced rapid development over the past decade mainly due to sound economic policies that were set in place shortly after the beginning of the new millennium when a reformist political administration took the reins of power.

Among the concepts that have been guiding the country in its race to take its citizens towards an industrialized nation is Vision 2030. Vision 2030 is a long-term development blue-print aimed at creating a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by the year 2030. The Vision envisages a newly industrialized, middle-income country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment.

In order to achieve this ambitious target, various state organizations have adopted strategies to align themselves with this vision and have given themselves certain deliverables that are key to attaining this goal.

Among the critical organizations driving this growth is the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the public body that manages the country’s seaports. KPA’s biggest mantle is the Port of Mombasa. This port is considered the gateway to East and Central Africa, and is one of the busiest ports along the East African coastline. The port provides direct connectivity to over 80 other ports worldwide and is linked to a vast hinterland comprising Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia by road. A railway line also runs from the port to Uganda and Tanzania.

In recent years, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has embarked on a massive programme to modernize and expand port facilities. Among others, the organization has already completed and launched Berth No. 19 (see Construction Review November 2013 issue). The berth was constructed on reclaimed sea space using material extracted deep from the sea with engineers literally having to push back the sea to create land for the 240 meter long berth. The new berth brought the total quay length of the container terminal to 840 meters, enabling three Panamax vessels of up to 250 meter length each to berth at any given moment.

Constructed at an estimated cost of U.S. $ 66.7 Million, Berth No.19 has an additional stacking yard of 15 acres providing a further capacity of 250,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per annum.

Another major project at the Port of Mombasa is the construction of a second container terminal as part of the Mombasa port’s continued efforts to expand capacity ahead of demand. The project, which was commissioned in 2012, is on course with phase one scheduled to be ready shortly.  Its main objective is to expand container handling capacity of the port of Mombasa in order to match future trends, stay competitive in cargo handling and facilitate economic development in the Eastern and Central Africa region.

The new container terminal, located west of the current container terminal, is being constructed on 100 hectares of reclaimed land and will have three berths measuring 230, 320  and 350 meters. Dredging is being carried out to depths of -15 meters for the main quay length of 670 meters, -12m for quay length of 230 meters, -11 meters for quay length of 210 meters and -4.5 meters for quay length of 83 meters.

The first phase involves the construction of two berths for Post-Panama vessels of 60,000 DWT and Panama container ships of 20,000 DWT as well as a smaller berth. The 1.2 million TEU Terminal will increase the current overall port capacity by 15 million tons.

In 2012, the port of Mombasa handled a total of 21.92 million tons up from 19.95 million tons in 2011, a growth of 9.9 per cent.  Container traffic rose to 903,463 TEUs from 770,804 TEUs handled in 2011, an increase of 17.2 per cent.  In the same period, transit traffic realized a growth of 18.4 per cent, registering 6.63 million tons from 5.60 million tons in 2011. Last year, 2014, the Port celebrated handling One million TEUs for the first time, up from 894, 000 TEUs  in 2013, presenting a growth of 13per cent. In terms of general tonnage the port handled over 24million tonnes up from 22.3million tonnes in 2013. This represents a growth of 9per cent.

Kenya Ports Authority management is upbeat on what the new terminal will herald. “The terminal will expand container handling capacity of the Port of Mombasa in order to match future trends, stay competitive in cargo handling and facilitate economic development in the Northern Corridor”, says Managing Director Gichiri Ndua.

Container terminal

Other Projects

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has simultaneously been working on a number of projects to enhance service delivery and make the Port of Mombasa the preferred port along the east coast of Africa.  These include the following:

Integrated Security System

The system includes high definition CCTV cameras, an electric fence and other

ultra-modern security surveillance systems within and around the Port.

Additional lanes at the Gates to enhance cargo off take

To enhance capacity and efficiency in the delivery of cargo through the gates, KPA constructed two additional traffic lanes, a roof canopy and associated security fittings at gate No.18.

Upgrading of Power Systems

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has put up a power sub-station at Kipevu to upgrade the electricity supply from 11Kv to 132 Kv from the national grid.

Development of Crude Oil handling facility

A new modern Oil Terminal will be built at a newly identified site within the harbour. Danish engineering firm, Niras, is expected to design a new oil offloading unit four times larger than Kipevu that is being retired after 50 years of service.

Lamu Port and New Transport Corridor to Southern Sudan & Ethiopia (LAPSSET)

The port is planned for 32 berths and dredged entrance channel done to -18 meters to enable it to accommodate ships of 100,000 tons. The cost for the Short-term Plan for Lamu Port Project, including the first three berths, is estimated to be US$ 664 million. The development is expected to be completed in the next few years. The administration block and other supportive facilities are already complete.