The Kenya Port Authority has said that the expected completion date for the Lamu Port has been pushed to December 2021 from the earlier announced date of December 2020.
According to the Kenya Ports Authority board chair, Joseph Kibwana, the contractor has requested for more time citing disruptions occasioned by the COVID19 pandemic. Kibwana says that earlier this year the contractor had to redraw plans over how to maintain their workforce through the period in which COVID19 cases were high. Construction work continued at the port, even at the height of the pandemic, although at a slower pace.
Mr. Kibwana expects the completion of the three berths by October 2021 with the commissioning later in December. The contractor is asking for more time to complete construction yards in the second and third berths having delivered the first berth in October 2019. The second and third berths were completed in July this year thus bringing the project to 80 percent completion.
The three berths cost Ksh48 billion since construction commenced in 2016 and measure 1.2 kilometers long and 18 meters wide. The first three berths will each have a capacity to dock two ships measuring 220 meters in length simultaneously.
The port is part of the Ksh2.5 trillion LAPPSET project that Kenya intends to use to enhance regional integration by linking Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. The project will have special economic zones ideal for an industrial hub, freight logistic hub, and Information-Communication and Technology parks.