The change in completion date for the first berth at the Lamu Port will not affect construction schedule of the other two berths. This is according to the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority.
Earlier, the Lapsset Corridor Development Authority had announced that the first berth would be completed by December this year but later extended the deadline to June 30, 2019.
The construction of the first three berths, which is 60 per cent complete, is ongoing at Kililana in Lamu West. The facilities will cost Sh48 billion.
The cost includes the physical construction of the three Lapsset terminals plus other activities such as preparation of the turning bay, dredging and reclamation works as well as navigation of sea waves.
Speaking during a recent inspection tour at the port site in Kililana, Lapsset Corridor Development Authority Director General Silvestre Kasuku said work was progressing well and that they were looking forward to deliver the project on time.
Mr Kasuku said despite the change in completion date for the first berth, the authority was still confident that all the three berths will be ready by 2020 as initially announced.
He was accompanied by the new Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) board members led by the chairman Joseph Kibwana and managing director, Daniel Manduku.
“The main purpose for our visit is to inspect the general progress of the Lapsset construction. We are finalising with the first berth which is set to be complete by June 30, 2019,” Mr Kasuku said.
“I want to assure Kenyans that there will be no change in the completion dates for all the first three berths. As we look forward to completing the first berth in June, 2019, the other two berths will be ready by the end of 2020 as initially stated.”
He said construction works for the Lappsset yard area is also ongoing with 200 metres already complete.
“We have so far completed 200 metres and construction of beams for the other 200 metres at the yard and parking areas is ongoing. We want to reach the intended 400 metres and such works are also expected to be ready by June, 2019,” said Mr Kasuku.
KPA Chair General (Rtd) Joseph Kibwana said the government has invested a lot of money into the construction of the Lamu Port and was looking forward for the completion of the project.
He said the KPA will work with the Lapsset Corridor Development Authority in ensuring the project is properly implemented.
“... we are looking forward to have the second port in Lamu after the port of Mombasa,” said Mr Kibwana.
KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku said the Lamu Port project will open up the Northern Kenya Corridor to trade and industrialisation.
“The Lapsset project is a huge investment by the Kenyan Government. It’s a game changer for both Lamu county and Kenya as a nation. We already have hundreds of youth employed at the Lapsset and others are yet to be employed. That means the project is a key solution towards unemployment,” said Mr Manduku.
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.
The entire Lapsset project will cost the government about Sh2.5 trillion once complete.