Government assures investors of opportunities at the Lamu Port

Government assures investors of opportunities at the Lamu Port

The National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Ukur Yatani has assured potential investors, key among them shipping lines and logistics companies, that the Lamu Port will be open for business from 20,May 2021.

Speaking at the Kililana Port site on Thursday, 6 May 2021 , after inspecting inspected the ongoing construction of the port, C.S. Yatani told operators of shipping lines and logistics heads drawn from Mombasa that the first berth is ready to handle interim port operations before the other three berths are completed in October.

“The Lamu Port has one berth that is fully complete and ready to handle logistical needs for the Northern corridor, while the second berth and the third berth are at 95 percent and 75 percent complete respectively but the remaining construction works will be cleared by June,” said Yatani.

Last month, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) shipped the necessary operational systems including ICT systems and equipment from the Port of Mombasa which are now ready to off-load goods from ships. In terms of personnel, the new port has so far received 70 staff from KPA including port officers, with an additional 100 staff set to be recruited locally from Lamu before the official proposed opening date.

Amb. Yatani assured the stakeholders of the government’s commitment to promoting the Port that is meant to link South Sudan and Ethiopia to the Indian Ocean and further develop the infrastructure around it. The stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Freight Forwarders, Kenya Transport Association, Maersk Shipping Lines, Lamu Shipping Ltd and Express Shipping and Logistics Agency, in return, hailed the progress made and promised to use the port for cargo evacuation.

The stakeholders further requested the gazettment of incentives relating to fees and charges for using and clearing goods at the Port for at least a period of one year in an effort to make the Port attractive to investors.

While agreements on the compensation of fishermen affected by the Port’s development have been finalized, the new road between Lamu and Garsen that will be used to evacuate goods from Lamu Port by road is expected to be fully completed by the end of this month.

Additionally, agencies such as Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and Port Health Services are also ready to start operations at the Port, which is set to have 23 berths along its 10 kilometres shore length, with the capacity to handle cargo traffic of 23.9 million tonnes by the year 2030.

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