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Lamu development to be bigger than Mombasa port The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport and Development Corridor is a public-private partnership (PPP) joining Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Mwangi Mumero reports. Dredging at Lamu Port. (Source: LAPSSET headquarters)

hree of the expected 32 deep sea berths are scheduled for opening early next year at Kenya’s Lamu Port, creating another avenue for cargo entry and departure for three Eastern African nations that also include South Sudan and Ethiopia. Fully funded by the Kenyan Government at a cost of US$480mn, the three berths are being constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) which signed a deal with the Kenya Port Authority (KPA), the statutory body in charge of ports. The ongoing work has involved dredging the quayside, deepening the docking area for ships by 17.5 metres. Other works have involved the construction of a revetment, causeway, buildings and



utilities, procurement of equipment and tug boats. “Lamu has a natural draft of minus 18 metres deep and the dredging will take it to 23 metres deep. It will have a capacity to handle vessels carrying between 6,000 and 13,000 TEUs,” observed Catherine Mturi, KPA managing director. Upon completion, Lamu Port is expected to handle bigger vessels than Mombasa Port – the main gateway to East Africa. Officials say that the three berths are designed to handle 30,000 Dead Weight Tonnage


(DWT) and 100,000 DWT for general bulk and container cargo respectively. Construction work also involves reclaiming the sea, which will place the berths more than 700 metres into the India Ocean. The first three berths will stretch 1.2 km long with a width of 750 metres. The remaining 29 berths will be financed by the private sector investors. Lamu’s Manda Bay is wellsheltered and has deep water of around 18 metres along the main

The port makes Lamu a strategic point within the LAPSSET Corridor ” ATKINS ACUITY CONSULTANTS

channel and 50-60 metres in the bay, able to accommodate Panamasize vessels. In the 1500-1800s, the Arabian, Portuguese and Spanish traders used the port in the Indian Ocean to do business that took spices, slaves, ivory and other merchandise across the seas. Lamu is 242 km north of Mombasa along the Indian Ocean, close to the Somali border. Launched five years ago and officially known as Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport and Development Corridor (LAPSSET), the project is a public-private partnership (PPP) that joins together three East African Countries – Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),

African Review June 2017  
African Review June 2017