The completion date of the second and third berths at the Lamu port has been brought forward to July.
The South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor Development Authority had initially set the completion date at December 2020.
“The first berth is completed and …the remaining two berths will be completed in July 2020,” the Cabinet secretary of Transport James Macharia said in documents tabled in Parliament.
The port, which is set to have 32 berths upon completion, is a government initiative to develop a second deep sea port along the Kenyan coast.
Phase one of the project involves construction of three berths to handle container, convectional and bulk cargo vessels.
Construction of the three berths is expected to take five years.
The Lamu port will be the largest deep sea port, with the highest trans-shipment capability in the East Coast of Africa.
The facility is expected to create employment as well as increase cargo volumes coming through Kenya which in turn will increase revenues.
Job opportunities to be created include not only direct jobs related to the port operation but also indirect ones in agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, logistics, transport, trade and commerce.
Once operationalised, this second sea port in Kenya will cater for the Ethiopian market, currently served by Djibouti port. It will also serve South Sudan, which relies on Port Sudan.
The Lapsset project has other components including a superhighway that will connect Lamu to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Juba in Southern Sudan.
The Lapsset infrastructure project was conceived to improve access to and connectivity between Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
It is one of mega infrastructure projects mooted under Mwai Kibaki’s administration alongside Konza technology city and the standard gauge railway (SGR).
The mega projects were put on the back burner during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first years in office as they failed to receive any allocation from the Treasury.
The projects sprang back to life after the Treasury returned them to the priority list in the year ended June 2016.