Kenya: Lamu Port Completes Building Its First Berth

Photo: Lamu Port
The quiet port of Lamu faces a huge transition as it becomes the coastal terminus of one of Africa biggest infrastructure projects.

The first berth of the Lamu port is complete, the South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority says.

"The first berth of the Lamu port is 100 percent complete," the authority stated on its Facebook page.

It said berth 2 and 3 will be completed by December 2020.

The construction of the first three berths, out of the 32 expected, begun with dredging works in December 2016.

Lamu Port is a government initiative to develop a second deep sea port along the Kenyan coast.

It will be the largest deep sea port, with the highest trans-shipment capability in the East Coast of Africa.

The berths have a 400m key length and a depth 17.5-18m along a distance of 6,000m.

LAPSSET CORRIDOR

The Lamu Port is part of the Sh2 trillion Lapsset corridor, expected to open up the northern part of the country and contribute at least 1.5 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Construction of the three berths is expected to take five years with the entire port planned to have a total of 22 berths.

The port will cater for the Ethiopian market, currently served by Djibouti port and South Sudan, which relies on Port Sudan.

The Lapsset project has other components including a superhighway that will connect Lamu to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Juba in Southern Sudan.

The development of a new transport corridor linking a new and modern Port of Lamu with Garissa, Isiolo, Maralal, Lodwar and Lokichogio and branching at Isiolo to Moyale at the border with Ethiopia and proceeding to the border with Southern Sudan is part of the flagship infrastructure projects under Vision 2030.

SHELTERED BAY

The proposed port site at Manda was selected because it has deep and sheltered bay and a wide navigable entrance channel.

The 10km-shore length has the capacity to accommodate up to 23 berths.

The development include the long-term physical planning of Lamu Metropolis area to demarcate sections which will accommodate complimentary cargo handling facilities such as railway terminal, godowns, container freight stations, tank farms, refinery, lorry terminals and also the social facilities for migrant workers.

Associated infrastructures required will be the connection of Lamu to the main electricity grid from Hindi, increase of portable water supply within the region and upgrading of access roads.

According to Kenya Ports Authority, once complete, the facilities at Lamu port are to create substantial job opportunities that covers not only direct jobs related to the port operation but also indirect jobs in agriculture, fishery, manufacturing, logistics, transport, trade and commerce.

The port is expected to attract larger cargo ships and provide direct benefits in the region by passing on savings derived from lower marine costs due to faster ship turnaround time and at the same time of reducing the cost of doing business.

The new access and links with neighbouring countries created by the Lapsset corridor is expected to foster regional economic development and growth through trade facilitation and boost value addition especially on processing of agricultural products and cash-crop exports.

TOURISM GROWTH

According to Vision 2030, the alternative destinations created by development of Resort Cities in Lamu, Isiolo and Turkana are expected to increase international tourist arrivals and push up the foreign exchange earnings.

The opening of northern Kenya is expected to not only pave way for exploiting the existing natural resources like oil and coal, but will also encourage the exploration of new finds.

It is envisaged that the port of Lamu would attract some of the cargo which would traditionally pass through the ports of Sudan, Djibouti and Mombasa.

The government traffic forecast for the Lapsset corridor shows that inclusive of demand from both South Sudan and Ethiopia, the Lamu traffic is to reach 23.9 million tons by 2030.

FACTBOX

The Lapsset corridor is to comprise

1. Standard gauge railway line

2. Road network

3. Oil pipeline ( Crude & product)

4. Oil refinery ( Isiolo/Lamu)

5. International Airports (Lamu, Isiolo and Lokichogio)

6. Port at Lamu (Manda Bay).

7. Resort cities (Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana)

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