Kenya Ports – The maritime transport system in Kenya consists of one major seaport – Mombasa – and several smaller ones at the Coast. Managed by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Mombasa is one of the most modern ports in Africa.
Mombasa Port handles all types of ships and cargo services, not only for Kenya, but also Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Southern Sudan, north-eastern Tanzania and Somalia.
The port has 16 deep-water berths — three handle containers and 13 conventional cargos. Two oil jetties are for refilled and crude oil, with the capacity to handle tankers of up to 80,000 DWT.
Mombasa is the second largest port in Africa (Durban in South Africa is the largest) in tonnage and containers handled. Total cargo traffic through the port averages 16 million tonnes a year. After Durban, Mombasa is also the second best connected port in the region, with 17 shipping lines calling and direct connectivity to more than 80 ports.
KPA also owns and operates Inland Container Depots (ICDs) or ‘dry ports’ in Nairobi and Kisumu. The ICDs are connected to the port by a special rail service (railtainer) that transports containerised imports and exports.
Expansion of the port is high on the Government’s agenda. Its annual cargo turnover is projected to reach 30 million tonnes by 2030.In this regard, the Transport ministry, through KPA, has started developing port infrastructure at Kilindini harbour to expand the ship turning basin, dredge the channel to increase the depth of the berthing areas and construct additional cargo termini.
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The port has initiated computerisation programmes to enhance quick and efficient processing of cargo. It now operates a 24-hour, seven-days-a week work system. The Ministry of Transport has initiated the development of a second transport corridor, starting with the construction of a port at Lamu. It will be connected to Southern Sudan and Ethiopia by rail, road and oil pipeline. An oil refinery will also be constructed at Lamu and this will lead to the development of resort cities and other amenities along the transport corridor.
The second transport corridor will be of immense economic benefit to Kenya and is estimated to cost billions of shillings. The Government has embraced Public Private Partnerships to develop the projects on build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis through concession arrangements. The corridor will not only open up the northern parts of the country and boost business activities but also increase trade with Southern Sudan, Ethiopia and the Great Lakes region.