Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia on Tuesday said its operations would be managed by KPA, “as an extension of the current port operations until further notice.”
He said the decision was taken in order to avert a delay in the operationalisation of the terminal due to legal suits filed by bid losers.
“Lack of utilisation of the terminal once handed over will deny Kenya the accrued benefits of additional capacity and revenues at the Port of Mombasa,” he said.
The first phase of the terminal, two berths, are to be handed over by the contractor on February 29.
Last month, a consortium of COSCO Pacific Limited and Paramount Bank moved to court in a bid to compel KPA to evaluate its financial bid; KPA having written to the consortium on December 31 to inform it that it had failed at the preliminary evaluation stage.
A similar case was filed by APM Terminals BV, a Netherlands based company, last year.
KPA had sought to secure an operator for the terminal for the next 25 years as part of efforts to decongest the port and open it up to more business.
The decision to run the terminal, “as an extension of current port operations,” was accompanied by changes to KPA’s top management which the Board has accused of, “failing to fully exercise their duties.”
The changes include the sending of MD Gichiri Ndua on terminal leave pending the expiry of his contract in July.
Ndua has been replaced, in an acting capacity, by the GM Finance, Catherine Mturi. “