MOMBASA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-built port in Kenya's coastal island of Lamu is expected to be launched in November, an official said on Friday.
Daniel Manduku, managing director of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) told journalists in Mombasa that China Communications Construction Company has so far completed the first berth.
"We will commission the Lamu port which will be the second commercial seaport for Kenya in November," Manduku said.
He said that the construction of the second and third berths will be completed in 2020.
"The port will initially target transshipment cargo that is destined for smaller ports in the eastern African region," said Manduku. KPA hopes to attract cargo that is destined for Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Mauritius, Somalia as well as the port of Beira in Mozambique.
Manduku said the seaport will offer attractive port charges and infrastructure to lure imported cargo destined for the region.
He said that the supporting infrastructure to transport cargo from Lamu into the interior of Kenya by either road or rail is yet to be finalized.
According to KPA, the Lamu port will have the capacity to handle larger sea vessels as compared to the existing port of Mombasa due to its deep natural waters.
"With the new seaport, Kenya will be able to handle ships with a capacity of 8,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared to 6,000 TEUs currently, "said Manduku.
He said the first three berths of the seaport will be funded by the government, while additional berths will be undertaken by the private sector.