The Port of Lamu will start operations in October following completion of the first berth early this month.
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) yesterday said it will be offering heavy discounts for importers using the new port in a bid to attract vessels to Lamu. The commissioning on October 20 will coincide with Mashujaa Day.
The Lapsset Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) on August 5 said the first berth was complete, setting the stage for its launch. Two other berths will be completed by end of next year, with the target being to have 32 operational berths over the next five years.
KPA said it would allow importers to store imports for up to one month for free after it starts operations at the new port.
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“In order to promote traffic into the new Port of Lamu, KPA wishes to announce a promotional tariff for vessels and cargo as follows – 30 days storage free period for transshipment and transit cargo, 14 days storage free period for domestic cargo,” said a statement yesterday.
KPA said it would also discount other services including a 40 per cent drop on discharging cargo from ships and cargo handling services at the shore.
“The first berth will be used as a multipurpose berth and will be capable of handling any kind of vessel especially the self-sustaining vessels. KPA has put in place plans to install three ship-to-shore gantries by the time the remaining two berths are ready for operations in October,” it said.
Construction of the first three berths began in December 2016. They were expected to be ready for commissioning in March last year but this has dragged for more than a year for the first one while it will be more than two years late for the other two.
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“Berth two and three will be completed by December 2020. Lamu Port will be the largest deep sea port, with the highest transshipment capability in the East Coast of Africa,” said the Lapsset authority.
The Lapsset Corridor will connect Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.