NAIROBI, (The Southern African Times) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday officially commissioned the first berth of Lamu Port.
Two more berths will be completed by the end of this year, completing the first phase.
The President said operationalization of the berth marks a key milestone in the roll-out of the regional Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET).
The New Lamu port will have a total of 23 modern berths measuring 400 metres wide, (double the size of berths in Port of Mombasa).
The President witnessed the offloading and loading of two ships simultaneously to complete a historic day for Lamu.
The port will also handle bigger vessels and will attract some cargo which would traditionally pass through ports of Sudan, Djibouti and Mombasa.
First commercial ship MV CAP Carmel made her maiden call at the Port of Lamu. Another Maersk vessel – Mv Seago Bremerhavel, a cellular container stacking ship was also anchored at Lamu’s minus 17.5 metres deep waters.
Port of Lamu first phase will have three berths – 1 container berth, 1 general berth and 1 bulk berth. Phase two of new Lamu port will have 16 berths; three bulk, three container, six general cargo, one liquid bulk, one coal, one LNG and one product oil.
The Lamu seaport was built by a Chinese firm and will pave way for seamless movement of goods in the greater Horn of Africa region.
It is also set to serve as useful complementary to the Mombasa port. Both ports have different target clients whose net effect will be to draw more maritime traffic and business to Kenya.
Over 1000 workers were directly engaged in the construction of the region’s newest and deepest port.
Earlier, the President had officially opened the 114km Garsen-Witu-Lamu road. The road will facilitate the movement of cargo in and out of the new Shs310 billion deep sea port.