South Africa’s Transnet SOC is in discussions with Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) to operate the first phase of the new port of Lamu.
The new port, which is located about 190 miles north of Mombasa, is being developed by KPA as the nation’s second maritime gateway and as part of a new and integrated freight logistics corridor linking northern Kenya with Ethiopia and Sudan.
WorldCargo News understands that Transnet is part of a consortium that is interested in providing equipment and then operating the first three berths at the new port. It is hoped that a deal will be concluded end March/early April, once various fiscal, technical and governance issues have been resolved. It is highly likely that the concession period will be for 25 years.
Despite being approached for further details about the project, Transnet had not responded at the time of writing. But it is clear that the South African company is keen to use its expertise and diversify its revenue streams by investing in overseas markets. Sub-Saharan Africa is seen as the easiest place to start.
The first of the new berths at Lamu is due to be completed in June of this year with the other two expected to be finished at the end of 2019/early 2020. They will handle mainly containerised cargo and have an effective handling capacity of 1.2M TEU a year. They represent an investment by the KPA in excess of US$480M.