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Kenya opens search for operator of new container terminal in Mombasa

Kenya opens search for operator of new container terminal in Mombasa
The two new berths in Mombasa will be handed over to a contractor in March 2016

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has invited terminal operators to bid to be a concessionaire of the first phase of the second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa.

Phase 1 of the US$300m project, scheduled for completion in February 2016, will comprise two main container berths with lengths of 210m and 300m and depths of 11m and 15m respectively.

By 2016 the new terminal, which is funded by a soft loan from the Japanese government, will have a capacity of 450,000 teu and this will rise to 1.2m teu by 2019.

Phase 2 will be implemented between 2016 and 2019 and Phase 3 is scheduled from 2020 to 2023 while according to KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua, the first phase is currently 70% complete.

The facilities and equipment to be leased to a concessionaire include container berths 20 and 21, wharf aprons of the same berths, a container yard, a railway yard, two ship-to-shore (sts) gantry cranes and four rubber tyred (rtg) gantry cranes.

The official tender document states that the Kenyan government and the KPA are looking for an “experienced container terminal operator” to “provide the country with a more competitive and productive port”.

Kenyan newspaper, The Standard, has reported interest from operators, DP World, and Bollore Logistics Africa (BLA).

In July, President and CEO of BLA, Dominique Lafont, said: “We have been in Kenya for 45 years and have been interested to run Mombasa on a concession for a long time. I had thought about it as far back as 15 years ago”.

Regarding Phases 2 and 3, the tender invitation added: “Discussions on funding options are ongoing and it is envisaged that the winning bidder of Phase 1 will be given first right of refusal to operate Phase 2 and/ or 3 depending on the financing option.”

However, if discussions with the concessionaire of Phase 1 are unsuccessful, the KPA “reserves the right  to tender out the remaining phases”.

The first phase is funded by a Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Container volumes in Mombasa grew by 11.5% in the first half of this year to over 460,000 teu, with typical products handled including fuel and consumer goods imports and tea and coffee exports for Kenya’s neighbouring landlocked countries.