Kenya receives first ship at new $2.8B port
Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta presides over opening of 1st berth of new Port of Lamu receiving Danish vessel as 1st ship
Kenya on Thursday started officially using its new Port of Lamu worth 310 million Kenya shillings ($2.8 billion), part of a project to link the East African country with South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s president, witnessed as cargo was offloaded off the Danish ship MV Cap Carmel at the completed first berth, one of 32 total.
Once completed it will be the largest deep-water port in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"This port will connect South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya,” Kenyatta said at the opening.
“Eventually, it will connect northern Kenya to the Middle Belt of Africa, which runs from Dakar, Senegal in the west to Lamu in the east."
The port is part of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure project, the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor project (LAPSSET) launched in 2012.
Kenyatta said that the port is strategically located at the convergence of major shipping routes, saying its operationalization will open up northern Kenya to international trade, thus fortifying the country’s position as a top economic gateway to Africa.
"With one of the deep-water harbors on the east coast of Africa, Lamu Port has the potential to become a premier trans-shipment hub for all cargo destined for the continent. Furthermore, Lamu now joins Mombasa Port as a key entry and exit point of cargo, deep into and out of Africa’s hinterland," he said.
According to Kenyatta's office, the president witnessed the docking of the Maersk-operated MV Cap Carmel and MV Seago Bremerhavel, the first and second vessels to dock at the new port respectively.
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