Kenya settles on contractor for $57m cable cars

Commuters expected to start enjoying cable car services from 2020.

Passengers ride a cable car in Kathmandu, Nepal, on February 3, 2018. The Kenyan government has settled on a contractor for the Likoni cable cars project. PHOTO | PRAKASH MATHEMA | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Construction will start in May and take two years, with commuters expected to start enjoying cable car services from 2020.
  • Commuters will cross the 500m channel in about three minutes.
  • The project will help in decongesting the Likoni Channel, which is used by 330,000 people and more than 6,000 vehicles daily.

The Kenyan government has settled on a contractor for the Ksh5.8 billion ($57.2 million) Likoni cable cars project.

Doppelmayr Group will start construction in May. The Austrian-based company handles technology projects.

Construction will take two years with commuters expected to start enjoying cable car services from 2020.

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Trapos Limited, who are the sponsors of the project, and the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) signed the concession agreement of the multi-billion shilling project last December.

KFS managing director Bakari Gowa on Thursday said the agency is finalising on land to be used to erect a mast to support the cable cars.

“The issues we are handling now are minor ones because the land has been identified. Another issue is the appointment of directors who will represent the KFS to the Likoni Cable Cars Ltd,” said Mr Gowa.

Pact

According to the agreement, once Trapos Ltd settles on the investor, the project will be handled by Likoni Cable Cars Express Ltd, which will manage it for 25 years.

“After the 25 years concession, KFS or any eligible company will upgrade, maintain and ensure delivery to the users,” he said.

The express link will have 22 cable cars which will carry 38 passengers per cabin. It will carry 11,000 commuters per hour in both directions which will be a total of 180,000 people a day.

Commuters will cross the 500m channel in about three minutes. They will pay between Ksh20 ($0.20) and Ksh100 ($0.98) depending on the mode and type of operation.

Decongest

Mr Gowa said the project will help in decongesting the Likoni Channel, which is used by 330,000 people and more than 6,000 vehicles daily.

The Likoni and Mtongwe channels are currently the only links to the South Coast by road.

KFS is banking on the project to give commuters using the Likoni Channel long-term solutions to transport hitches through cable cars and better maintenance of the ferries.

On Mtongwe channel, Mr Gowa said KFS is planning to allow carrying of both people and vehicles on the ferries.

The managing director said this will be done after the acquisition of land to allow access.

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