The increase of cargo volumes at the port of Mombasa has been significantly boosted by the operationalization of the second container terminal, Kenya Ports Authority has said.
The terminal has made tremendous contributions to the total traffic handled in the Port since it became operational in April 2016.
This year alone, between January and September, about 120 vessels called at terminal.
About 202,661 TEUs containers, were handled terminal, said KPA managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi on Monday in Mombasa during a two-day KPA-organised media workshop at Whitesands Hotel.
The Sh28 billion first phase of the second container terminal was officially launched by president Uhuru Kenyatta on September 2016, some five months after it was handed over to KPA management by the contractor.
“The facility (second container terminal) has increased the port’s annual container handling capacity by 550,000 TEUs,” said Mturi-Wairi.
The construction of the Sh35 billion second phase of the terminal is expected to start early 2018 and will provide another additional capacity 550,000 TEUs.
Overall, KPA cargo handling recorded a 10.6 per cent growth between January and September this year, despite the pro-longed electioneering period.
The port handled a total of 22,756,448 tons of cargo compared with 20,566,156 tons registered in the corresponding period in 2016, reflecting an increase of 2,190,293 tons, which is 10.6 per cent growth.
The MD said the ship turn-around, which is the time taken by a vessel from when it berths to the time it leaves the Port, achieved an all-time high of 2.9 days. Cargo dwell time has also come down from 12.6 days to four days.
“We want a port that waits for ships and not the vice-versa,” she said. To remain responsive to shipping and trade trends, the port has continued to implement elaborate port modernisation programmes to position Mombasa as a world class port of choice.
“We have expanded yards and berths to handle more cargo, revamped our ICT system for faster document processing and modernized cargo handling equipment,” she said.
“We have installed a state of the art integrated security system to control pilferage, dredged the port channel and widened its turning basin. Consequently, the Port can now attract and accommodate larger vessels.” The port has modernized the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) and expanded its annual capacity from 180,000 TEUs to 450,000 TEUs.
She said they have progressed on plans to build a new modern and bigger oil terminal to replace the current Kipevu Oil Terminal.
The new facility will handle four vessels at a time and will have underground pipelines to link with the KPC storage tanks.
Source: TradeMark East Africa