Ports and Logistics

Kenya’s president on hand for opening of giant Chinese-funded port

Nearly 50 years after it was first mooted as a possible deepwater facility, the port of Lamu officially opened yesterday, providing new transport opportunities to businesses in northern Kenya as well as landlocked neighbours in Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president, was on hand as the 2,524 teu Cap Carmel docked at the brand new port. The giant $3bn facility will eventually house 32 berths. Funding has come from China with state-run China Communications Construction Company the designated builder.

The port is Kenya’s second deepwater one, after Mombassa, and is part of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure project, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET) launched in 2012 with hinterland road and rail links being built too.

“This port will connect South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya,” Kenyatta said at the opening. “Eventually, it will connect northern Kenya to the Middle Belt of Africa, which runs from Dakar, Senegal in the west to Lamu in the east.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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