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Kenya set to complete 1st berth at Lamu port in December: official

Friday, 06 July 2018 | 20:00

The first berth at the Lamu Port in Kenya’s coastal region will be completed in December and not June as earlier announced, a Kenyan official said.

The Lamu port is being constructed under an ambitious Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor project, an economic and transport corridor that stretches from Kenya’s coastal Lamu port to South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Benson Thuita, the LAPSSET Corporate Affairs Officer, said completion of the berth has been pushed to the end of this year to ensure it meets international quality standards.

“A project of the LAPSSET’s magnitude cannot be hurried. We expected the first berth to be completed by June but we are looking at the end of the year now,” said Thuita.

He disclosed that construction of the first three berths which is fully financed by the government of Kenya, is ongoing with delivery times of 24 months of the first berth and 45 months for the next two at a cost of 480 million U.S. dollars.

“The first three terminals are coming with a capacity of 13.5 million tons. The container terminal can handle 1.2 million tones. The road from Isiolo to Moyale is already complete and in use, while that from Lokichar to the border with South Sudan is already under construction. So far so good,” Thuita told Xinhua.

At the same time the government is structuring the remaining 29 berths to be concessioned to the private sector for construction and operations.

Thuita said the construction work for the first three berths is currently at a 46 percent completion rate. He was optimistic that the two other berths will be done and running by end of the year 2020.

Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary in the ministry of transport said the government is committed to ensuring a speedy delivery of the 24.5 million dollars project, deemed the largest port in East and Central African region.

In the last East Africa Community (EAC) summit held in Kampala in December last year, LAPSSET was listed among the regional priority projects.

Sylvestre Kasuku, the Director General of LAPSSET, said it is no longer a project of Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan since the rest of the East African Community have adopted it.

“Key flagship projects are championed by presidents in Africa, and right now they are 10 in number. LAPSSET was the ninth admission, in 2015. The last was Walvis Bay in Namibia,” said Kasuku.

“A recent review undertaken by Nepad, the AU secretariat and the UN Economic Commission for Africa realized that out of all these 10 projects in Africa, the best performing is LAPSSET,” he added.

He noted that Kenya and Ethiopia have previously not had any land-linked infrastructure.

“Today, we have a road of 1,000km – Isiolo to Moyale and Moyale to Awasa – done by the two countries under the LAPSSET project. LAPSSET is ranked the global project of the year in opportunity creation not just for the African continent but the whole world,” said Kasuku.

The LAPSSET project plan includes a 32-berth port, transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar, an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia to Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.
Source: Xinhua

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