Kenya: Ports Authority moves to decongest Mombasa port

(HornTrade) – The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will be constructing a new berth as a measure of minimizing delays at the port of Mombasa.

According to the corporate development manager Mwanamaka Mabruki the current berths numbers 16, 17 and 18 can not handle more than 2 ships at a go as modern ships are bigger and wider.

To further ease congestion a new dry port will be constructed in Voi where the corporation owns in excess of 100 acres to cater to containers and car shipments.

According to managing director Ndiwa Muli the 3-hour distance from Mombasa to Voi will form the nucleus for the special economic zones situated along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway.

There have been complains from shipping companies that it was taking much longer to dock and clear cargo at the port of Mombasa in the past few months despite the port operating round the clock.

According to KPA the crisis arises from the design of the old berths that were designed to accommodate 3 ships at a go but over time the vessels have become much bigger.

Mabruki now says KPA will be constructing a 160m long 12.5m deep berth 19 that will be able to accommodate more ships.

Works on the new berth that is estimated to cost 3.7 billion shillings are expected to commence this coming January and will take at least 18 months to complete.

This berth is to complement the dredging that is currently underway to deepen the harbor to at least 15m.

Among other improvements at the port will be the upgrading of machines such as the purchase of 7 additional gantry cranes and expanding the port to handle at least 700,000 containers.

completely worn out

Meanwhile Rift Valley Railways is set to invest more than 18.4 billion in the next 5 years to upgrade the railway track, locomotives and wagons.

According to RVR’s managing director Brown Odego this is part of the company’s 5 year business plan that will see a total overhaul of locomotives by 2030.

It is estimated that over 70 kilometers of the Nairobi-Mombasa railway track is completely worn out a factor that has seen trains operate under a speed restriction of 35 kilometers per hour in the larger track line.

But with 1.5 billion shillings set aside for track upgrade the line is expected to be in good form within 15 months.

Another area set for upgrade is servicing of locomotives to return them to operating speed that will cost 1.3 billion shillings.

The money is to be raised through equity and debt finance with equity raising 76.5 billion while the latter will contribute the rest.

Among the lenders of the project will be the International Finance Corporation, the emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and the African Development Bank.

Source: kbc.co.ke

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