Investors get nod for SGR extension

The Government has allowed private businesses to extend the Standard Gauge Railway line from the Mombasa port’s conventional cargo berths to their premises.

This is to facilitate the easy movement of cargo. Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd (GBHL) has already received approval to construct an extension of the SGR line to its facility at Shimanzi in Mombasa.

In an interview, Kenya Railway Corporation Senior Permanent Way Officer David Arika said other investors such as millers were free to extend the SGR line from the GBHL siding to their premises.

The Government has also approved the construction of a second grain bulk handling terminal at the port, which may also construct its own railway siding, according to Mr Arika.

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“The Government has allowed private investors an opportunity to extend the SGR line from the conventional cargo berths in a partnership after they expressed interest to handle bulk cargo,” he explained. The two port relief lines are designed to load and evacuate containerised and bulk cargo. Port relief line covers 2.1km while line two, complete with a 700-metre bridge at Kipevu, measures 2.8km.

“The relief line to the conventional cargo berth is now ready for use after undergoing test runs. We can deploy two trains moving cargo to the Nairobi South station,” said Arika.

The Government is also likely to build a railway line from Miritini to Mombasa’s town centre to bring the passenger services closer to the public.

Security area

Currently, passengers board the SGR trains at Miritini, about 15km from Mombasa’s central business district.

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Arika explained that it was impossible for passengers to board the SGR trains at the port, which is closer to the town centre, since the facility was a security area.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected to commission the port relief line last August, but he did not. It was built as part of the Sh327 billion SGR project.

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GovernmentStandard Gauge RailwayMombasaGrain Bulk Handlers Ltdt ShimanziKenya Railway CorporationDavid ArikaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta