Kenya has expressed confidence that the Chinese construction firm- China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) will complete the construction of the first berth of the Lamu port in mid 2018.
Sylvester Kasuku the LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority Director General told a media briefing in Nairobi that dredging works began in October 2016 and that construction work is currently 20% complete.
Mr Kasuku said that China Communication Construction Company is expected to complete construction of the three berths by the year 2020 and at at a cost of $480 million.
Kenya has already spent $120 million for the construction of Lamu port with another $100 million earmarked for the next financial year.
Lamu port is set to have a total of 32 berths and is part of LAPSSET Corridor Program which will cost over $26 billion to complete.
While the Kenya government will fund construction of the first three berths the rest are expected to be funded by private sector under a public private sector agreement.
South Africa has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop the first three berths in the Lamu port.
“The South Africans are currently in the phase of submission of proposals and are undertaking discussions with relevant government agencies before commencing construction works,” Kasuku said.
The port has also received inquiries from ten private firms seeking to invest in the infrastructure project.
Kasuku said that Lamu port is expected to surpass Mombasa port to become the largest port in Kenya in the next ten years.
He said that the Mombasa port currently handles 1.2 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) annually and has a maximum capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.
The first three berths of Lamu Port will be able to handle 1.2 million TEUs and when fully operational will handle 20 million TEUs.
In recent years Kenya has heavily invested in key infrastructure development across the country including roads, rails and energy projects.