The Port of Mombasa will spend 20 billion shillings to modernize four berths to handle both container cargo and goods not packed in containers.
Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku has told Reuters news agency that the investment that is driven by growing demand for imported cargo in the East African region will be financed by the European Investment Bank and French development agency AFD.
The Port of Mombasa which was built in 1895 is the main trade gateway for the Eastern Africa region, serving among others Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
Imported cargo in the East and Central African region has been growing driven by at least 5 percent annual economic growth rate in most of the affected economies.
Exports make up just 15 percent of the cargo that transits through the Port of Mombasa every year, with a third of the total belonging to neighboring countries, with the rest destined to Kenya.
The annual cargo traffic through the Port of Mombasa is projected to increase to 47 million tones in the year 2025 from 32 million tones last year.
This year, the volume of cargo handled at the Port of Mombasa is projected to increase to 34 million tones. This has prompted the government to modernize the port.
Manduku has told Reuters news agency that the parastatal is undertaking major expansion programmes in efforts to keep the facility’s cargo handling capacity ahead of demand.
Manduku says the European Investment Bank and French development agency AFD are financing the modernization of the berths.
The Port of Mombasa is ranked Africa’s fifth busiest port after Morocco’s Tangier Med, Egypt’s Port Said, South Africa’s Durban and Nigeria’s Lagos.
The Kenya Ports Authority is spending an additional 39 billion shillings to build a new oil terminal, to replace the existing facility that was constructed in 1968.
The new oil terminal is expected to triple the Port of Mombasa’s annual capacity for oil and liquid gas to 1 million tones.
Manduku told Reuters news agency that the current investments by the Kenya Ports Authority are part of a 310 billion shilling ports investment program, aimed at boosting annual capacity to 110 million tones by the year 2040.