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Lamu port project to be complete in four years

Monday, 20 February 2012 | 00:00
The first phase of the proposed multi-billion shilling Lamu Port will be complete in four years, a Kenya Ports Authority seniorofficial said yesterday. Lamu Port project manager P.U. Oremo said the port will open up trade links with Ethiopia and South Sudan and a rail will be built for moving goods between the countries.
Speaking to journalists at Kililani, the site of the project, Oremo said the project will also bring about stability in the northern corridor. Work on the project will be launched by in February by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Oremo said currently they rely on the smaller Mombasa portto supply products through the old Mombasa-Uganda railway. “The Lamu Port will be deeper than that of Mombasawhich cannot sustain many ships because of the depth of the channel,’’ he said.
Oremo said Mombasa port is 12 metres deep whilethe Lamu port will be 18 metres to enable bigger ships anchorsafely. The port project manager also said the Lamu port shallhave more berths than that of Mombasa to handle the northern corridor. He said the port will have capacity for 23 million tonnes of cargo once it’s complete and that will be a major boost to the economy. “Lamu has the potential of developing like Mombasathrough this project because it's big and will have many opportunities to boostthe economy,’’ he said.
He said among the development projects that will be setup include container terminals, bulk goods terminals and conventional cargoterminals. Oremo said there will also be crude oil which will beexported directly to South Sudan. “There will also be a biggerinternational airport in Lamu and a resort city to cater forthe demand of the kind services brought about by the project,’’ he said.
He said the opposition by some civilrights groups were normal in any development and termed it as a challenge whichcould easily be over come. He dismissed those claiming that the port would destroythe heritage of Lamu and that it shall have a negative impact to theenvironment saying they should reflect on Mombasa city and the port developmentalready on with the Mombasa old town still in existence and no cases of environmentalimpact.
Source: The Star
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