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Economy

Mombasa port traffic up 10pc in nine months to Sept

Some of the cranes used to offload containers from cargo ships at Berth 19 at the Port of Mombasa on this photo taken on December 31, 2014. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Some of the cranes used to offload containers from cargo ships at Berth 19 at the Port of Mombasa on this photo taken on December 31, 2014. FILE PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG 

Kenya’s main port, Mombasa, handled 10.6 per cent more cargo in the first nine months of this year, helped by an expansion of its handling capacity and a new railway system, the port’s management said on Monday.

Activity in east Africa’s biggest port is considered a measure of economic activity for the region.

Mombasa handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The increased traffic comes despite prolonged tensions over an election in August which was nullified and then rerun in October.

Mombasa handled 22.8 million tonnes of cargo between January and September compared with 20.6 million in the same period last year, Catherine Mturi, the port managing director, said.

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10.4pc increase

Imports accounted for 19.3 million tonnes, up from 17.4 million in the same 2016 period, an increase of 10.4 per cent.

It handled 2.8 million tonnes in exports, up 3.2 percent on the 2.7 million tonnes in the same period last year.

Transit traffic increased by 8.5 per cent to 6.5 million tonnes from 5.9 million.

Uganda remained the biggest transit market, accounting for 81 per cent of all transit cargo.

Last year Kenya commissioned the first phase of a second $300 million container terminal that provides an additional cargo-handling capacity of 550,000 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units) per year.

Construction of a second phase is scheduled to start early next year and will provide additional capacity of 450,000 TEUs, said Mturi.

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