Nairobi — The first commercial ship docked at the new Lamu port Thursday, ahead of the formal launch by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
First commercial ship MV CAP Carmel makes her maiden call at Lamu Port #LamuPortTakeOff pic.twitter.com/Q8v5QrlFbN- Kenya Ports (@Kenya_Ports) May 20, 2021
The commissioning of the Sh310 billion port elevates Kenya to a strategic position to wrest the trans-shipment market from Djibouti and South Africa, officials said.
The new port which will mainly handle trans-shipment cargo, comes at a time nearly all the ports in the region are undergoing upgrades to meet growing demand.
Maersk geared ship Mv Cap Carmel goes alongside to mark a historical day for Lamu Port as its first commercial ship to dock.
As usual, Carmel was accorded all the trappings of a functional sea port. pic.twitter.com/ayOgDGWaEC- Kenya Ports (@Kenya_Ports) May 20, 2021
Lamu port is one of the main components of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project and is expected to complement the port of Mombasa while opening Kenya's largely underdeveloped frontier.
This will be through creation of a second corridor linking a new and modern Port of Lamu with Garissa, Isiolo, Maralal, Lodwar and Lokichogio and branching it to Isiolo to Moyale at border with Ethiopia and proceeding to the r border with Southern Sudan.
It is expected that the new port, which has capacity to handle bigger vessels, will attract some cargo "which would traditionally pass through the ports of Sudan, Djibouti and Mombasa."
Authorities say the port will play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the local communities and the International market-not only for the goods in transit but also the celebrated history of the Island.
Kenya's coastline plays an integral role in the regional economy by providing the artery through which goods are exported to the world.