Put Second Container Terminal out to tender

In Summary

• Kenya National Shipping Line is 47 percent owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company.

• Denmark, France, Japan and UK are unhappy that the operator was not chosen through transparent bidding.

A view of the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa on September 26
A view of the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa on September 26

The Kenya Ports Authority has been running the Second Container Terminal in Mombasa since 2016. Local politicians and unions want to keep it that way because they fear that 'privatisation' could lose thousands of jobs.

Ironically Coast people fear that the state-owned Kenya National Shipping Line will take over CT2. However, KNSL is 47 percent owned by the Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world's second-largest container shipping company.


Now Denmark, France, Japan and the UK have protested that management of CT2 should have gone out to international tender (see P10). This was a condition of Japan providing Sh28 billion for the first phase and Sh35 billion for the second phase.

Their diplomats want the selection of "an international operator through an open and transparent bidding process".

They are right. CT2 should not be given to KNSL in the faint hope of making it financially viable. It should not be given to MSC, a private company, without being openly tendered. 

Government should be looking for greater efficiency and reduced costs for container freight entering Mombasa. The best way to achieve that is through open competitive tender. 

Quote of the day: "To keep a person ignorant is to place them in a cage."

Julian Assange
The Wikileaks activist was born on 3 July, 1971