Kenya is seeking a concessionaire to operate the first phase of a second terminal it is building at its main Mombasa port, its operator said on Monday.
The Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, the biggest in east Africa and the region's trade gateway, handles fuel and consumer goods imports as well as exports of tea and coffee for landlocked neighbours such as Uganda and South Sudan.
State-run Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) said in an advertisement in the Daily Nation newspaper the first phase of the $300 million (Sh2.7 billion) terminal will comprise two berths to be handed over by the contractor in March 2016.
By 2016, the new terminal is projected to have a capacity of 450,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), a measure of container capacity, and rise to 1.2 million TEUs by 2019.
Mombasa, East Africa's biggest port, expects to handle at least 14 per cent more cargo this year, helped by its expanded capacity and a marketing drive.
Gichiri Ndua, the port's managing director, said in November that it expected a cargo throughput of 25.5 million tonnes this year, up from 22.31 million handled in 2013.
Kenya is also building a second port in Lamu, north of Mombasa, with a capacity of 23 million tonnes per year.