FULLY OPERATIONAL

Phase 1 of Lamu Port complete as second, third berths opened

The port is a state initiative to develop a second deep sea port along the Kenyan Coast

In Summary
  • Speaking on Monday, Sidai said plans were underway to have the two berths officially opened before the close of this year.
  • The port is worth Sh310 billion and will boast of 32 berths upon full completion, making it the largest deep-water port in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lamu Port general manager Vincent Sidai
Lamu Port general manager Vincent Sidai
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

The second and third berths at the new Lamu port facility—LAPSSET—are now complete and fully operational, port manager engineer Vincent Sidai said.

Speaking on Monday, Sidai said plans were underway to have the two berths officially opened before the close of this year.

The first berth was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 20, 2021.

In the event, the first ship, MV CAP Carmel, a Denmark-based shipping line, with a general cargo from the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, docked at the Lamu Port en route to Salalah in Oman.

The completion of the first three berths which cost Sh48 billion signifies the completion of Phase 1 of the project.

The Lamu Port project plan includes transportation hubs for rail, highway and international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar.

An oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia to Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.

The port is worth Sh310 billion and will boast of 32 berths upon full completion, making it the largest deep-water port in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Lamu Port is part of the Sh2.5 trillion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport corridor, expected to open up the northern part of the country and contribute at least 1.5 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

The third berth at the Lamu port is now complete and in use
The third berth at the Lamu port is now complete and in use
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES

The port is a government initiative to develop a second deep-sea port along the Kenyan Coast.

Sidai said other auxiliary infrastructure that has been completed at the port include three container yards for the three berths, the course way, warehouse, operations office and fire station.

Each yard has a capacity of 4,320 ground slots which brings to a total capacity of 12,960 ground slots and a stack-height capacity of 17,280.

“The three berths and their respective yards are all operational now.  All other related infrastructure is also in operation. We are just planning on a ceremony to officialise all this,” Sidai said.

All the three berths have been designed to handle both container, general and bulk cargo with each having a depth of 17.5 meters and 400 meters long.

Lapsset regional manager Salim Bunu termed the Lamu Port an anchor project in the Lapsset structural component.

“The port is crucial as it will open up Lamu and the northern corridor to development, trade and business. It will also boost trade, commerce, agriculture, fishery manufacturing and logistics,” Bunu said.

The Kenyan government has since structured the remaining 29 berths to be handed over to private sector investors for financing, construction, and operation.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

The completed container yards at the Lamu port
The completed container yards at the Lamu port
Image: CHETI PRAXIDES
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