NAIROBI, Kenya, March 9 – The Port of Mombasa’s container handling capacity has been boosted following the completion of phase one of the second container terminal project.
Commissioned in 2012, the second container terminal was part of the Mombasa Port Development Project seen through a partnership between the Governments of Kenya and Japan to expand the port over three phases.
“Phase one of the new terminal has an estimated capacity of 550,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) annually. It is expected that upon completion of the other two phases the second container terminal will permit the port of Mombasa a total of an additional capacity of 1.5 Million TEUs annually,” says a statement from the Port.
“The newly acquired terminal currently undergoing a series of tests on the equipment involved the construction of two large berths which measure 250m and 300m respectively and a small berth.”
Also under this phase procurement of two Ships to Shore gantry cranes and four Rubber Tyred Gantries and construction of a container stacking yard on a 35 acclaimed area was undertaken.
The draft of the new terminal consists of a minus 15m alongside the berths to allow berthing of fourth generation vessels of above 6000 TEU capacity. With these developments the port of Mombasa now joins the league of large container handling ports in Africa.
Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said that the new terminal supporting infrastructure such as access roads had also been completed and already discussions were underway to construct a railway line that would be linked to the main line.
“These projects are in line with the ministry’s agenda in transforming Mombasa into a maritime hub in the region. With the ever growing container and overall port cargo handling, this new terminal will offer the much needed space to match the growth,” he added.
The port added that the second phase of the project is on course following the inking of the Sh24 billion loan agreement between JICA and Kenya Ports Authority recently.
The development is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The third and last phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2020.
“Once the entire project is completed it will make the Port of Mombasa the largest port in the region with about 2.5 million TEU capacity annually. The new container terminal will create an additional 900 meters quay length to the current 840 meters,” reads the statement.
The completion of the first phase has come at a time when the Port of Mombasa is registering upward trends in cargo volumes.