Mombasa port sees marginal cargo growth


Pedestrian walk next to a Container Freight Station (CFS) along the Portrietz road in Mombasa on September 21, 2021.

Mombasa port continues to reel from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, recording minimal cargo growth in the first nine months of 2021.

The port handled 26.17 million tonnes of cargo this year up to September compared to 25.05 million tonnes in the corresponding period in 2020.

In the period under review, the Mombasa port witnessed increased volumes in container traffic registering 1.1 million containers against 1 million last year.

Acting Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director John Mwangemi said notable resilience has been observed this year and expressed optimism the port will record significant growth in the coming few months.

“We remain optimistic that as the year comes to a close, the port will continue handling more cargo to further increase the positive performance,” said Mr Mwangemi.

While making remarks during the annual KPA Corporate Golf Tournament played over the weekend in Mombasa, Mr Mwangemi said the ongoing key infrastructural projects in various port facilities will ensure more efficiency to attract more business in future.

“The construction of the second container terminal (CT2) Phase II is on course which once completed will add more space of more than 450 twenty-foot equivalent units (Teus) thus ensuring there is no congestion at the facility,” said Mr Mwangemi.

Once completed, the new CT2 will enable the ports to handle post-panamax-plus vessels to grow container capacity from 1.65 million Teus to 2.2 million, which will give the port an edge over that of Dar es salaam.

Regarding the new Kipevu Oil Terminal, the facility is expected to be completed next month. The new oil facility which is bigger and modern will have facilities for offloading crude oil, refined petroleum and liquified petroleum gas (LPG) and is due for completion by end of the year.

"Once complete, KPA will have a terminal consisting of four berths capable of berthing four vessels of up to 200,000 deadweights tonnes (DWT) at ago, to benefit from economies of scale and reduction of demurrage,” said the acting MD.

Apart from facilities at the Port of Mombasa, KPA is also investing heavily in Lamu and Kisumu ports where it is banking on the latter to increase in business between Kenya and its neighbours via Lake Victoria.

Already developments and rehabilitation of the Port of Kisumu have been completed while in Lamu, the first berth is operational while second and third berths are expected to start operating next year.

"Since Lamu port came into operation on May 20 this year has so far received nine vessels. Plans are underway to procure additional equipment to ensure efficient delivery of services," he said.

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