Lamu port has received a large cargo vessel, reaffirming its position as a vital transhipment hub in East Africa.
According to John Mwangemi, Kenya Ports Authority MD, the arrival of MV Spirit from Dubai- a vessel owned by French shipping firm CMA CGM, at the newly constructed berth of Lamu Port, boosts the facility’s ability to handle international shipping.
He said Lamu Port has proven that it can handle colossal transhipment cargo that is ferried by some of the world’s most respected shipping lines.
Lamu port unveiled its first berth in May this year, opening up the facility to docking large cargo vessels that will also ferry goods within the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia(LAPSSET) transport corridor.
The port is situated within the Lamu archipelago, also considered a world heritage site. Construction of the facility is being undertaken by China Communications Construction Company(CCCC) and will be made up of 32 berths when works are complete.
This KSh 310 billion ( US$2.86 billion) facility is poised to be the biggest deepwater port in Sub-Saharan Africa and a significant boost to regional trade and connectivity.
The first commercial ship, the MV AMU that has local ownership, docked at the port. Now, more vessels are expected to discharge cargo destined for other regions in Africa and beyond.
MV Spirit of Dubai picked the same cargo offloaded by MV AMU 1 for onward transhipment to the Middle East and Europe.
Mwangemi said the port is capable of handling Panamax and post-Panamax vessels with a capacity of over 10,000 TEUs adding that two additional berths will be operationalized at the end of this year.
“We are prepared to continue receiving more vessels in the coming few days,” said Mwangemi, adding that installation of modern infrastructure and deployment of skilled personnel will enhance seamless operations at the mega seaport.