, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 7 – The ongoing construction of the three berths at the Lamu port will be completed by March next year.
This is according to the Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, who says the construction is at 20 percent completion rate ‘with everything moving as planned.’
Macharia says the move by government to construct the berths shows it is committed to the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) project with the aim of attracting investors.
“In many instances, you find the private sector is invited to invest, but there is nothing to show. For this one, because it is a very special project, we decided to make sure we put our own money first before we even invite investors or donors,” Macharia said on Friday, “ That is why we decided to start by constructing these three berths.”
The government is keen to invite big consortiums to partner on the development of the development of the infrastructure. “We have invested close to Sh50 billion and I would our financing will be limited. Much of it will come from the private sector,” Macharia said.
“We have invested close to Sh50 billion and I know our financing might be limited. Much of it will come from the private sector,” Macharia said.
The construction of the berths involves the recovery of the sea which will place the berths more than 700 metres into the Indian Ocean, stretching 1.2 kilometres wide with a width of 750 metres.
The contractor, China Roads and Bridge Corporation, is also dredging the dockside, deepening the docking area for ships by 17.5 metres.
The LAPSSET project comprises of seven core infrastructure components including Lamu Port, a Standard Gauge Railway, a highway connecting Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia, crude oil pipeline, international airports and resort cities.
The project is the single biggest infrastructure project initiated by the Government of Kenya and is meant to provide seamless connectivity in a region hitherto neglected.
It will cost close to Sh4 trillion and is at the moment close to 7 percent completion rate.