Kenya signs Sh25 billion deal with Japan for Mombasa port expansion

Some of the cranes used to offload containers from cargo ships at berth 19 at the Port of Mombasa. Kenya is set to sign a Sh25 billion loan with the Government of Japan for the construction of extra berths at the port. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

What you need to know:

  • Facility prepares for stiff business competition from Tanzania.
  • The money is earmarked for a second container terminal and creation of three extra berths to handle more cargo.

Japan will on Friday advance to Kenya a Sh25 billion loan to fund the second phase of Mombasa port expansion.

The money, to be given through the Japan Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), is earmarked for the construction of a new container terminal by reclamation of the West Kipevu to create an additional 3 berths.

“The proposed project includes construction of a new port access road connecting the new container terminal with the existing Port Reitz Road that leads to Nairobi and inland bound highways,” the project document reads.

The money is part of Sh50 billion commitment by the Government of Japan to fund development of the facility.

The project will also see expansion of Port Reitz and Airport roads and drenching of access channel connecting new terminal and open sea.

The capacity of the new access road is expected to be 750,000 twenty feet equivalent of containers per year. A new railway station with four rail lines mounted with gantry cranes will also be constructed.

The facility will have a waiting area for empty trucks, repair and washing zone and an area for lorries waiting to be loaded with cargo. There will also be weigh-in-motion bridges to ensure axle load controls.


The first phase of the terminal is expected to be completed by March 2016. The second and third phases will be ready by 2017 and 2020 respectively.

By last year, work on the three-berth terminal that involves land reclamation had seen contractor — Japanese Port Consultants — drench a large part to get to the deep sea meant to create dry land along the Indian Ocean and create space for second container terminal.

Mombasa port is the second largest in Africa in terms of tonnage and the containers handled per year with an average of 1,700 ships docking at the facility annually.

The port is preparing for competition that is expected to heighten movement of cargo in the East African region once another huge port being constructed by Tanzania at Bagamoyo is completed.

Last month, Kenya Ports Authority, the agency in charge of managing the port, said construction of phase one of the second container terminal — that is expected to significantly boost the port’s vessels handling capacity — was 65 per cent complete.

The ceremony to be held at Kenya Ports Authority headquarters at Mombasa will be attended by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Transport counterpart Michael Kamau and ambassador of Japan to Kenya Mr Tatsushi Terada.