The Sh20 billion Shimoni Port project on the sea border of Kenya and Tanzania border will be undertaken through a public-private partnership (PPP).
The fishing port of Shimoni is one of the 11 small facilities, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) wants to develop countrywide in an ambitious multibillion shillings programme.
This revelation by KPA on Wednesday has attracted divergent views from players, with those supporting it saying it would promote trade.
“We want to make Shimoni Port a fishing port so we will build a multi-purpose berth that will incorporate fishing and handle other cargo.
“We will also do cold storage facilities at Shimoni and value addition facilities, including those for fish processing. That, however, will be done under PPP arrangement,” said acting KPA managing director Daniel Manduku yesterday, in an exclusive interview with the Nation.
He added: “KPA and a private entity will engage in the joint venture for the Shimoni port.”
Dr Manduku said the port in Kwale is supposed to be a fishing port and will be upgraded to handle other imports.
And reacting to KPA’s plans, Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) national chairman William Ojonyo said devolving the authority’s services “is a good idea.”
“But that should not be a solution to the problems today. Devolving will definitely make business easier and better, but the problems of today must be dealt with as such, without thinking of taking cargo elsewhere,” said Mr Ojonyo.
Mr Ojonyo blamed the current cargo problems at the port of Mombasa on inefficiency caused by agencies like Kenya Revenue Authority.
Dock Workers Union secretary general Simon Sang welcomed the new port saying it was a sign of development.
“In developed countries, there are many ports that push up the impact of their economies,” said Mr Sang.
The move will reduce cargo congestion both at the port of Mombasa and the Nairobi Inland Container Depot, he added.
“Efficiency starts with adequate space, because the biggest challenges we have at Mombasa port and ICD is that we had never had enough space to be able to arrange containers,” said Mr Sang.
Dr Manduku outlined a number of expansion programmes that will cost the organisation billions of shillings.
The programme is meant to make the parastatal remain competitive by expanding its physical properties found in key strategic areas for trade.
He said a contract for the building of the Sh40 billion Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT) has been awarded to China Communication Construction Company and work is to start.
The new modern terminal will have the capacity to handle four vessels of up to 100,000 DWT (Dead Weight Tonne), with a Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) line.
“We are soon embarking on the construction of Kipevu Oil Terminal for the discharge of fuel to the tanks owned by Kenya Pipeline Corporation and other oil companies. The project will cost about USD400 million (Sh40 billion),” he said.