Kenya steps closer to new container terminal at Mombasa port
Sept 06, 2016: Kenya inaugurated the first part of a new container terminal at Mombasa, which is likely to boost the volume of cargo handled by East Africa's largest seaport, by 50%.
Construction of the $296.74 million terminal began in March 2012 and was completed in February this year.
The project was financed by a loan from Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency and will be repaid by Kenya over a period of 40-years.
A gateway to East and Central Africa, the Indian Ocean port funnels imports of fuel and consumer goods as well as exports of tea and coffee from landlocked neighbours such as Uganda and Rwanda.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who opened the facility, said the terminal heralded "a whole new era in the development of our ports and facilitation of the region's international trade".
A bigger cargo capacity for Mombasa was crucial because of the discovery of oil and gas in the region, he said.
The new terminal can handle 550,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year and will ramp up Mombasa's existing annual cargo handling capacity from 1.05 million TEUs to 1.6 million TEUs.
The Kenyan government has also confirmed that it has signed an agreement with JICA for credit worth $316m to fund construction of the new terminal's second part.