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Government talking to China over Lamu port funding

COAST
By Abigael Sum | Jun 10th 2013 | 2 min read

By Abigael Sum

Lamu, Kenya: The Government is in talks with China over funding of Lamu Port and Lamu South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport project to fast track its implementation.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Michael Kamau said they are hoping the Chinese Government will take up financing of the project estimated to cost $42 billion.

“What we are interested in is for them to do what they did with Thika Road. The Chinese government financed the project. We were holding talks so that they can take up this project in terms of financing because loans from China are very concessional,” said Kamau.

The Secretary was speaking at a news conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after jetting into Kenya from China, where he attended a forum for Chinese contractors.

He said the meeting was key since the contractors source for projects funded by Chinese government after feasibility studies.

Kamau added the ministry has marketed Nairobi-Mombasa railway project that is set to reduce congestion on roads. “Cargo at the Port of Mombasa is increasing at the rate of 9 per cent. This means the number of trucks transporting the cargo will continue to increase. It is, therefore, important to build rails to increase capacity.”

He reiterated they are embarking on the project since railway transport is efficient. He, however, noted financing of the project requires further consultations with the Chinese government.

The Secretary further said they are working to get more funding for expansion of JKIA to be able to handle 30 million passengers per year.

“If we don’t expand the airport, we are impeding on progress made by Kenya Airways because they cannot increase their fleet since there is not enough parking,” he said.

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