The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has signed a grant with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) for the development of the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Mombasa.
A SEZ master plan for the Sh39.1 billion project that sits on a 3,000-acre parcel of land has been developed with support from the Government of Japan and presents opportunities for investment in value addition in the industrial zone.
The SEZ project includes the establishment of a free trade zone, free port, logistics hub and a mega industrial zone.
KPA Acting General Manager John Mwangemi signed the agreement in the presence of a delegation of JICA officials led by Naota Mukai.
Mr Mwangemi said with the construction of a new road under the Mombasa Port Development Project and the SGR link to the expanded port, landlocked countries within the East and Central Africa region will be efficiently served by the Port of Mombasa.
The business community in Mombasa, led by the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) Mombasa Chapter Chairman, Mustafa Ramadhan, had called on the national government to expedite the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone project, which is projected to create millions of direct and indirect jobs, attract massive investors and spur economic growth.
Mr Ramadhan said the project, once implemented, could create up to 100,000 jobs besides attracting regional and international investors.
Meanwhile, the Sh32 billion phase two of the second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa has been completed and is awaiting commissioning next month.
The new terminal, whose construction started in September 2018, is expected to increase the port’s annual capacity by 450,000 containers to a total of 2.1 million containers.
KPA confirmed that the Japanese contractor, Toyo Construction Company Limited, has completed the project, which has been described by maritime stakeholders as a game-changer.
In a statement from KPA, the handing-over ceremony will be done soon after KPA and relevant government agencies inspect the facility located on 100 acres within the expansive Kilindini Harbour.
A team from Tokyo Construction Company, led by Civil Construction Division Manager Hironari Sahara and International Division General Manager Shuichi Aikawa, held a meeting with KPA officials and confirmed the completion of the project.
KPA was represented by Cargo Operations General Manager Sudi Mwasinago and Infrastructure Development General Manager Abdullahi Samatar.
The project was financed through a government-to-government loan facility from the Japanese government under Jica.
The terminal will have three berths with lengths of 230, 320 and 350 metres. The largest berths will handle Panamax container ships of 20,000 deadweight tonnage and post-Panamax vessels of 60,000 tonnages.
Phase one of the second container terminal built at a cost of Sh26 billion involved reclaiming a sea area of about 50 acres and creating a 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity. It was commissioned in 2016.
Mombasa port is the gateway for landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.