Two more berths at the port of Lamu are now complete, bringing the total finished to three, five months ahead of schedule despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
However, director-general of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) authority Silvester Kasuku said the date of their commissioning remains uncertain because of the pandemic.
“The first berth has been ready since last year, but the itineraries of the three Head of States involved in the project did not coincide, causing the delay in its commissioning,” said Mr Kasuku.
The first phase of the port — involving three berths to handle container, convectional and bulk cargo vessels — was fully funded by Kenya at a cost of $48 million.
Mr Kasuku said they are yet to finalise the container yards of the two new berths, but construction works are at more than 70 per cent.
The construction of the first three berths, out of the expected 32, began with dredging works in December 2016. The government is expected to advertise tenders this year for the construction of the remaining 29 berths and other components of the corridor, including the special economic zone (SEZ) through a public-private partnership.
Mr Kasuku said the SEZ has already been gazetted and will be located in the Lamu Port City. It will provide an ideal freight logistic hub, an industrial hub, information-communication and technology park and a world class tourist and recreational zone.
The Lapsset corridor will have a standard gauge railway line, road networks, oil pipeline and refinery, international Airports, port at Lamu and resort cities in Larru, Isiolo and Lake Turkana.