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Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) says Lamu Port needs Sh3b to unlock construction stalemate

By Lee Mwiti | May 17th 2016 | 2 min read
By Lee Mwiti | May 17th 2016

The Lamu Port project requires an additional Sh3 billion to ensure construction proceeds to completion. The project is already running behind schedule by two years.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Board Chairman Marsden Madoka, who was speaking during the board’s visit to the site of the port, acknowledged that delays in paying the project’s Chinese contractor had slowed progress.

The Government in 2013 awarded a Sh48.6 billion tender to Chinese Communication Construction Company to build four berths at the port in 45 months’ time.

Mr Madoka, however, expressed optimism that the Government would provide the funding required to jumpstart the project.

“The Lamu Port project is a Sh160.8 billion investment that is so far two per cent complete. Most of the work has been on site preparation,” he said.

He said the board’s site visit had illustrated the importance of the project, in a move to actualise the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor.

Madoka said despite the payment delays, the current contractor was committed to completing the first berth by 2018.

The general manager in charge of infrastructure development at KPA, Abdullahi Samatar, said the authority would ensure the first berth was unveiled in the next two years.

He, however, added that any further delays in funding the project could lead to expensive claims against the government by the contractor.

“Since the contractor has already committed substantial resources, in terms of personnel and monetary resources, in building the site from the ground up, further rescheduling may lead to the project incurring extra costs, which will include the money needed to keep the contractor around, without him doing any work,” said Mr Samatar.

The Chinese firm currently employs 100 local and 20 Chinese workers.

Contrary to Madoka’s projections, Chinese Communication’s deputy project co-ordinator, Gallon Zhang, said for berth construction to keep going, his firm would need Sh10 billion immediately to make necessary purchases.

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