Coast Regional Commissioner (RC), John Elungata, says the new multibillion Shilling Lamu Port is ready for commissioning by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday. Elungata said once the official launch is done the new deep-water port is ready to start operations as a transshipment hub.
In port terminology, transshipment is when cargo or container is moved from one marine ship to another while in transit to its final destination.
The Regional Administrator who spoke during Sunday, when he toured the new commercial Port said, “we are satisfied with the progress of work and everything is in place for the big day”.
Elungata who is the Chairman of the Coast Regional Development Implementation Coordination Committee (RDICC) inspected the project and declared it was ready for opening by the Head of State.
He said the first three berths out of the 32 deep sea berths planned for construction are complete and ready for transshipment of cargo. “The new Lamu commercial port will be an important economic hub in Eastern and Central Africa and will be serving landlocked countries of South Sudan and Ethiopia” he said.
The new Port of Lamu code-named Lamu South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor, seeks to serve Kenya, South Sudan and landlocked Ethiopia.
He said the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and by extension the government is ready to receive the Port from the contractor, the China Communications Construction Company.
The RC has assured the business community of a well-organized cargo evacuation strategy from the Lamu Port ahead of its commissioning.
Elungata noted that infrastructure is in place to ensure smooth transportation for both domestic and transit cargo with Ethiopia and South Sudan being major destinations.
He said security has also been enhanced along the Lamu-Garsen-Garissa-Isiolo routes, the latest transport corridor in the country, expected to connect Kenya to Ethiopia and South Sudan while opening up the northern region of the country.
He said the government regards the modern grandiose port as a commercial asset and will enable it to be internationally competitive.
Sources said the KPA which will run the ultra-modern facility has been conducting dry runs at the Port in what is said to be final tests to ensure everything is on course.
By Hussein Abdullahi