The first berth at the Lamu Port in
Kenya’s coastal region will be completed in December
and not June as earlier announced, a Kenyan official
said on Thursday.
The Lamu port is being
constructed under an ambitious Lamu Port-South
Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor project,
an economic and transport corridor that stretches
from Kenya’s coastal Lamu port to South Sudan and
Benson Thuita, the LAPSSET Corporate Affairs
Officer, said completion of the berth has been
pushed to the end of this year to ensure it meets
international quality standards.
"A project of the LAPSSET’s magnitude cannot be
"We expected the first berth to be completed by
June but we are looking at the end of the year now,"
He disclosed that construction of the first three
berths which is fully financed by the government of
Kenya, is ongoing with delivery times of 24 months
of the first berth and 45 months for the next two at
a cost of 480 million U.S. dollars.
"The first three terminals are coming with a
capacity of 13.5 million tons.
"The container terminal can handle 1.2 million
"The road from Isiolo to Moyale is already
complete and in use, while that from Lokichar to the
border with South Sudan is already under
"So far so good," Thuita told Xinhua.
At the same time the government is structuring
the remaining 29 berths to be concessioned to the
private sector for construction and operations.
Thuita said the construction work for the first
three berths is currently at a 46 percent completion
rate. He was optimistic that the two other berths
will be done and running by end of the year 2020.
Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary in the
ministry of transport said the government is
committed to ensuring a speedy delivery of the 24.5
million dollars project, deemed the largest port in
East and Central African region.
In the last East Africa Community (EAC) summit
held in Kampala in December last year, LAPSSET was
listed among the regional priority projects.
Sylvestre Kasuku, the Director General of
LAPSSET, said it is no longer a project of Kenya,
Ethiopia and South Sudan since the rest of the East
African Community have adopted it.
"Key flagship projects are championed by
presidents in Africa, and right now they are 10 in
number. LAPSSET was the ninth admission, in 2015.
"The last was Walvis Bay in Namibia," said Kasuku.
"A recent review undertaken by Nepad, the AU
secretariat and the UN Economic Commission for
Africa realized that out of all these 10 projects in
Africa, the best performing is LAPSSET," he added.
He noted that Kenya and Ethiopia have previously
not had any land-linked infrastructure.
"Today, we have a road of 1,000km - Isiolo to
Moyale and Moyale to Awasa - done by the two
countries under the LAPSSET project. LAPSSET is
ranked the global project of the year in opportunity
creation not just for the African continent but the
whole world," said Kasuku.
The LAPSSET project plan includes a 32-berth
port, transportation hubs for rail, highway and
international airports in Lamu, Isiolo and Lodwar,
an oil pipeline from South Sudan, Uganda and
Ethiopia to Lamu Port, an oil refinery and three
resort cities in Isiolo, Lamu and Turkana.