Kenya is set to invite private investors to bid for construction of 29 more berths along the Indian Ocean coastline as part of the Sh500 billion Lamu port, the largest in the region.
The State is already building the first three berths at a cost of Sh48 billion funded by taxpayers, with the first berth set for completion by December. The Lamu Port will have 32 berths upon completion, 29 of which will be undertaken by private investors.
The facility is part of the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor that will comprise roads, railway lines and an oil pipeline meant to connect regional economies and spur trade.
“We will soon invite private investors to bid for construction of the berths under the public-private partnership model.
“The first bids will be for seven berths, to be followed by the next round of seven berths,” said Lapsset director-general Silvester Kasuku.
The China Communication Construction Company won the tender for the government-funded first three berths under construction. The first berth was set to be ready by June but suffered delays.
The berths construction by private investors comes after the African Development Bank threw its support behind transactional advisory services for the port which will guide contracts and tender preparation.
Upon completion, the port that is the first transshipment hub in east Africa, will be double the size of the 16-berth Mombasa harbour.