Japans lends Kenya Sh35bn for Mombasa port expansion

Cargo handling at the port of Mombasa.
Cargo handling at the port of Mombasa. Photo: New Times
The governments of Kenya and Japan have signed a Sh35 billion loan facility for construction of phase two of the second container terminal at the port of Mombasa – paving the way for the launch of a project that seeks to boost efficiency at the busy port.

According to the Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi, the signing of the deal will enable the contractor to kick off works on site by January next year.

“We already have the Sh35 billion financing from the Japanese government. We are now in the tendering process but construction must commence by January 2018,” Ms Mturi said in an interview last week.

The deal comes exactly a year after the September 2016 completion of phase one of the second container terminal project, which raised Mombasa port’s cargo handling capacity by 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs).

Phase two of the second container terminal is, on the other hand, expected to provide an additional capacity of 450,000 TEUs.

The initial phase of the project was built at a cost of Sh28 billion.

The new terminal which is being built on 100 acres at Kilindini Harbour is expected to ease congestion at the Mombasa port, making the facility more competitive amid growing competition from the port of Dar es Salaam in neighbouring Tanzania.

On completion, the facility will have three berths with quay lengths of 230, 320 and 350 metres. The larger berths will handle Panamax container ships of 20,000 dead weight tonnes (DWT) and Post Panamax vessels of 60,000 DWT.