Lamu port construction to commence soon – Kibaki

President Mwai Kibaki

The construction of the proposed Lamu port is set begin soon and the first ship is expected to dock at the port by December 2012, President Mwai Kibaki has said.

Speaking Tuesday at the KICC during the Government forum on completion of the planning stage of the Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia transport corridor project, President Kibaki reaffirmed his government’s commitment to the implementation of the second transport corridor project.

“Ground-breaking for construction of the first three berths should be done soonest…I look forward to the commissioning of the first ship docking at Lamu port next year,” President Kibaki said adding that the project is an economic development corridor with higher multiplier effects to the areas it will traverse and beyond.

The second transport corridor links Lamu Port to Ethiopia and South Sudan through a rail line, a highway and an oil pipeline. The project will require a total investment of US$22 billion by 2020.

Three resort cities, a 120,000 barrels per day capacity refinery and an international airport will also be built in Lamu, a senior government official said.

With an eventual capacity of 23.9 million tonnes annually, Lamu Port will be built at Manda Bay, which juts out of the ocean towards Pate, Manda and Lamu islands.

Between 2013 and 2018 (at the peak of the project), the government will have to invest 6% of Kenya’s annual GDP or about 16% of the annual government budget.

Speaking during his recent tour of the area, Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the development of Lamu Port and the associated infrastructure will spur economic growth and improve the lives of Kenyans.

“Lamu port will be bigger than that of Mombasa and free like that of Dubai to attract investors and create potential for businesses from all over the world,”said Mr Odinga.

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