KPA eyes efficiency in Sh360b port plan

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) chairman General Rtd Joseph Kibwana (centre) and KPA managing director Dr. Daniel Manduku (right) looks on as the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works James Macharia (left) drives a point after the unveiling of the KPA's Master Plan for 2018-2027, August 07, 2019 at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is seeking the support of the private sector and development partners to implement its new Sh360 billion development blueprint.

Among the key highlights of the 30-year master plan launched on Wednesday is reducing the cost of trade for users of the Mombasa port by creating an efficient and seamless integrated transport system.

It also outlines how KPA will develop the upcoming Lamu port as well as other lake ports, small coastal ports and new inland container depots in the country.

The agency projects that the port will handle 3.5 million Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) by 2030, up from the current 1.6 million TEUs.

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In terms of tonnage, the Mombasa port’s total capacity is expected to rise from the current 40.6 million tonnes to 68.8 million tonnes of cargo by 2030, and 77.8 million tonnes by 2047.

Under the new plan, KPA also projects container volumes ferried by the Standard Gauge Railway cargo service to go up to 732,000 TEUs in 2022, 909,000 TEUs in 2027, 1.330 million TEUs in 2037 and 2.201 million TEUs in 2047.

Out of the projected Sh360 billion spending over the next three decades, KPA said Sh210 billion will be invested towards the development of the Lamu port, while the remainder (Sh150 billion) will be used for infrastructure development and acquisition of modern equipment for the Mombasa port.

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Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the new plan aims to create a cost-effective and seamless integrated transport system in the country in the face growing competition from other regional ports.

“It will also accelerate investment in the manufacturing sector through the creation of special economic zones which, in turn, will increase exports,” said Macharia at the launch in Mombasa. KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku said under the plan, the operation of the Port of Lamu and other new ports will be handled by private entities while the State will be a regulator.

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“It is envisioned that the Port of Mombasa will also gradually transform into a landlord port,” said Dr Manduku.

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