The completed Sh32 billion phase two of the Second Container Terminal at the port of Mombasa has been officially handed over to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
Japanese contractor, Toyo Construction Company on Wednesday handed over the project that has an additional capacity of 450,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs).
The acting KPA Managing Director Amb. John Mwangemi commended the contractor for completing the project on schedule saying this will increase the port capacity to 2.1 million TEUs which will make Mombasa among the top five ports in Africa.
Mwangemi said the new container terminal whose construction started in September 2018 comprised 300m long berth number 22 and other administrative facilities.
He said the contract for the construction of the terminal includes delivery of Cargo Handling equipment, Ship to Shore Gantry (SSG) and 12 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes.
“Of this equipment, one SSG and 12 RTGs were delivered and commissioned in Phase 1 of the project and are currently in use while three STSs were delivered in January this year,” added the KPA boss.
He also thanked the governments of Kenya and Japan for the investments towards modernisation of the Port of Mombasa.
“I wish to commit here that we shall put our best foot forward to ensure optimal utilization of this facility for the benefit of Kenya and the region,” said Mwangemi.
KPA’s General Manager for Infrastructure and Development Abdullahi Samatar said with the completion of the project, KPA achieved its target of expanding capacity ahead of demand and added that the facility was undertaken within 44 months.
On his part, Tokyo Construction Company Project Manager Haruo Yoshida expressed delight for successfully and safely delivering the complex infrastructure project on schedule.
Yoshida said the construction of the project was faced with some challenges such as environmental concerns and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He thanked KPA for the opportunity to execute the project saying his company was willing and ready for future working relations.
The phase two second container terminal was financed through a government-to-government loan facility from the Japanese government under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project will have three berths with lengths of 230,320 and 350 meters where the largest berths will handle Panamax container ships of 20,000 deadweight tonnage and post Panamax vessels of 60,000.
Phase one of the second container terminal built at a cost of Sh26 billion which involved reclaiming a sea area of about 50 acres creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity was commissioned in 2016.
Mombasa port is the gateway for landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, and has lately witnessed major improvement through multi-billion infrastructural and technology investments.
By Mohamed Hassan