Users of cargo facilities at the Moi international airport in Mombasa are pushing for establishment of cold storage at the airport to facilitate exports.
Mohamed Abdulahi, a director at the Mombasa Slaughter House said they have secured contracts to supply beef to Middle East but are constrained when it comes to storage at the airport ahead of shipment.
“We are expanding with a plan to invest more than Sh100 million to buy processing equipment so that we meet a demand of up to 10 tonnes per month but the problem is that at the airport there is limited space for storage,” he said Wednesday.
He said when flights are delayed they are forced to find alternative storage, which is expensive, making them uncompetitive in the target markets.
Other exporters who need cold storage facilities at the airport include Kenya Meat Commission and horticultural producers.
Their push comes at a time construction work for a new cargo handling container freight station (CFS) at the airport is nearly complete.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) awarded the contract to GN Cargo Kenya Limited.
According to Guled Aden, a director at GN Cargo, there are a few regulatory procedures remaining before they roll out the service.
“We will also have cold storage facilities and we expect to launch it in March after we obtain all the necessary approvals,” he said.
Establishment of the centre is expected to raise export volumes channelled through the airport with the CFS targeting raising fish and meat exports to the Middle East and Asian countries.
Besides exports, the CFS will facilitate bringing in imports of dry cargo, including mobile phones, electronics and shoes.
There are plans to upgrade the facility with an initial storage capacity of 760 tonnes of cargo per day, which will involve spending up to Sh1 billion to enable it handle more cargo, Mr Aden said.
The partnership in the project involved Sheikh Mohamed, a Dubai-based member of one of the royal families in the United Arab Emirates with business interests in various sectors, including banking and hospitality.
Once complete, the project will have cost Sh400 million, including cold storage with a capacity to handle both imports and exports.