Kenya launches cargo train set to de-congest Mombasa port

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-31 04:15:13|Editor: Yamei
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Photo taken on May 10, 2017 shows the Emali station on Kenya's Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). (Xinhua/Chen Cheng)

MOMBASA, Kenya, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday launched the standard gauge railway (SGR) cargo train that is expected to ease congestion at the port of Mombasa.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa and the President of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), Chen Fenjian, attended the launch ceremony of the SGR cargo train that preceded launch of the passenger train on Wednesday.

President Kenyatta in his remarks at the unveiling of the SGR cargo train said it ushered in an era of fast, efficient and reliable transport of goods.

"This is a historic moment as we begin our journey of transformation," Kenyatta remarked, adding that his government is banking on the SGR cargo train to hasten industrial growth and cross-border trade.

Besides reducing the cost of ferrying goods from the port of Mombasa to the hinterlands, the SGR cargo train will drastically reduce congestion in the highways and the environmental pollution.

According to Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), it will cost 500 dollars to transport a single container through the SGR cargo train when compared to 900 dollars by road between Mombasa and Nairobi.

Kenyatta said that expansion of Mombasa port and operationalization of the SGR cargo train marked a critical milestone in Kenya's quest to become an industrial and trading hub.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa said that Kenya stood to gain immensely from operationalization of the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR project that will ease movement of people and goods.

"In future, we are confident the SGR will boost Kenya's economic development," said Liu, adding that modern transport infrastructure will enhance competitiveness of Kenya's economy.

For his part, the President of CCCC, Chen Fenjian, said that launch of SGR project reaffirmed strengthening bonds of friendship between Kenya and China.