A Netherlands firm has won the tender to carry out the planned dredging of the Mombasa port channel, which maritime experts say will position it strategically as a regional trans-shipment hub.
The company, Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors, emerged the best in evaluations, beating three other firms which submitted bids in April this year. The government hopes to finalise talks with the firm soon.
“We are in the process of preparing the contract documents to be signed soon so that the dredging can start by next month or latest in January next year,” said the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) procurement manager Mr Yobesh Oyaro.
Do not see any hurdles
The four international firms submitted technical and financial proposals for evaluation early this year. Mr Oyaro said that all the firms’ technical proposals qualified for the task but the authority had to rely on financial submission to award the tender.
Firms were invited last year to submit their technical submissions, financial submissions and financing proposals for the project that will be funded by both the government and donors.
“Since it is now over 14 days since the tender was awarded, we do not anticipate any hurdles and the dredging will go on as planned,” said Mr Oyaro.
KPA postponed the exercise last year until the planned construction of a second container terminal commenced.
The setting up of the second terminal and dredging of the channel, whose design work is now complete, are supposed to commence together because material that will be scooped from the sea bed will be used to reclaim part of the land for the additional facility.
Lost some business
The second terminal is funded by Japan to the tune of Sh16 billion and will create an additional capacity of 1.2 million twenty foot equivalent units (Teus) compared to the existing capacity of 250,000 Teus.
The Mombasa port has already lost to Dar es Salaam port trans-shipment business in the last two years due to the container terminal constraints.
The port is already being stretched almost beyond its 20 million tonnes per year capacity.