Chinese-built seaport in Kenya receives bulk cargo vessel
The Chinese-built Lamu port located on the Kenyan coast on Monday received a large cargo vessel as the port reaffirms its strategic position as a transhipment hub serving the greater eastern African region.
John Mwangemi, acting managing director of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), said the arrival of MV Spirit of Dubai, owned by the French shipping line CMA CGM, at the recently launched first berth of Lamu port, will inspire confidence in its ability to host international logistics business.
“The dream of spearheading the transhipment business at the Lamu port has now become a reality with the arrival of the world’s biggest and most reputable shipping lines,” Mwangemi said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 20 inaugurated the first berth of Lamu port, which is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor to pave way for the docking of bulk cargo ships.
The seaport that is located in Lamu archipelago which is also a world heritage site is being constructed by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and will have 32 berths in total upon completion.
The 310 billion shillings (2.86 billion U.S. dollars) port is expected to be the largest deepwater port in Sub-Saharan Africa besides enhancing regional connectivity, trade and investments.
The Lamu port on July 15 received the first commercial ship MV AMU 1 owned by a local shipping company and is expected to attract large vessels transporting cargo destined for the greater Horn of Africa region and beyond.
Mwangemi said MV Spirit of Dubai will pick the same cargo offloaded by MV AMU 1, for onward transhipment to the Middle East and Europe.
He said the port is capable of handling Panamax and post-Panamax vessels with a capacity of over 10,000 TEUs adding that two additional berths will be operationalized at the end of this year.
“We are prepared to continue receiving more vessels in the coming few days,” said Mwangemi, adding that installation of modern infrastructure and deployment of skilled personnel will enhance seamless operations at the mega seaport.