Mombasa Port recorded impressive performance in 2018 due to modernization programme and introduction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
The port handled more cargo that saw Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) earn Sh.45.35 billion compared to Sh.41.56 collected in the previous year (2017).
According to KPA Financial Report for 2018, the port recorded marginal growth as a result of the increased containerized cargo and capacity to handle bigger panmax (382 metres) vessels.
However, the report shows that KPA’s profit before tax for 2018 dropped marginally from Sh.10.6 billion to Sh10.3 billion, largely as a result of an increase in expenditure.
The push to have importers use the SGR and collect their cargo from Nairobi Inland Depot at Embakasi resulted to increased business at the facility that saw it handling a record 257,972 TUEs in 2017.
The lucrative marine industry has lately become competitive forcing port authorities to expand and modernize its equipment to accommodate demands of their clients.
The port of Mombasa has set out a path towards becoming a world-class regional hub through multi-billion expansion and modernization programme.
According to an analysis conducted by KPA of its 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, the port has achieved a number of milestones that have enhanced its attractiveness for global trade to the region.
The review shows that KPA has implemented several initiatives to address capacity and efficiencies.
The enhancement of capacity has been marked by key infrastructural investments and modernization of cargo handling equipment, which have catapulted the port to a regional pole position.
The recent capacity expansion which has given the port of Mombasa a competitive advantage includes dredging of the port channel, berth construction, and upgrading of equipment and ICT systems.
KPA has embarked on a massive port development programme which is to be implemented in three phases.
The programme envisaged the construction of a Container Terminal on 100 hectares and capacity to handle 1.5 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) per annum on completion, making the overall port capacity to over 2.6 million TEUs.
The new terminal is poised to provide an additional 900 meters of quay length and three berths of 300 meters each which gives ability to accommodate modern large ships.
The first phase of the project which cost Sh.28 billion started in April 2016 and has a capacity of 550,000 TEUs. Last year the port witnessed increased cargo traffic with the new terminal alone handling 300,000 TEUs.
After the completion of the two remaining phases, the total capacity of the second Container Terminal will be 1.5 million TEUs which will raise the port’s total container handling capacity to 2.65 million TEUs by 2025.
The port of Mombasa is currently the deepest in East and Central African region and can accommodate panama container ships of up to 8,000 TEUs.
By Mohamed Hassan