Yesterday marked the official ground breaking of the 2nd container terminal at the port of Mombasa. The Sh28 billion project which started in March this year is the largest single project that the Kenya Ports of Authority has ever undertaken since 1980 when the current container terminal was built.

The container terminal is part of the ports’ expansion and modernization programme. It will be constructed in two phases expected to be completed in 2012 and 2020 respectively.

The project involves dredging of the main channel, land reclamation of 100 acres, construction of three berths with a straight quay of 900 metres and creation of space for container stacking and supportive facilities.

There has been growth in the cargo getting in and out of the country, exerting pressure on the ports capacity. A Port master plan was unveiled in 2005 outlining the development agenda for the port in the next twenty five years. First on the plan was the expansion of port capacity to cope with demand and eventually be ahead of demand.

To ease container off-take from the port, a new access road and a railway line will be constructed to link the container terminal and the proposed Dongo-Kundu bypass and Mombasa Nairobi highway on the other end. Equally essential will be the procurement of container handling equipment. The container picking and moving process has been subjected to technological improvement.

The design for the construction of the facility is ready. It will be financed through a bilateral soft loan from the Japanese Government to the tune of Sh1.6 billion.

Japan Port Consultants Limited was awarded the six-year construction contract in 2011.They are to construct a quay and sea walls,utilities,buildings,access road and parking space. Other civil works will include the extension of the railway line and access roads from existing container terminal to the new terminal and installation of leading lights.

Upon completion, the facility will position the port as the regional hub for transit and transshipment traffic and gateway to East and Central Africa as envisioned in the country’s vision 2030.With a capacity of 1.2 million Twenty foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per year, the terminal will further enhance trade and economic development of the region and Africa as a whole.

Other than the 2nd container terminal, KPA also in the plans of developing a port at Dongo Kundu area besides its involvement in the establishment of the Lamu Port. The Dongo Kundu project will involve development of free port facilities on a 3,000 acres piece of land owned by KPA through a PPP arrangement. The contract for this project was awarded to Singapore Corporation Enterprises to undertake the master planning and development of the free port.

The design of the Road Bypass to link Dongo Kundu area to Mombasa –Lunga Lunga road is ready and the ministry of Roads is sourcing for funds for its construction.

History of berths in Mombasa
Berths 16 and 17 were completed in 1975 where they handled 1,385 TEUs.The two were later converted into container handling berths. In 1980,berth 18 was completed increasing the number of berths at the Mombasa Container terminal to three.

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