Six-lane Mombasa Nairobi Highway bidding to Kickoff  

Nairobi - September 21,2016

The government has announced plans to partner with the private sector to build a six highway lane from Mombasa to Nairobi are at an advanced stage.


Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Mr James Macharia said that project would present a bankable project and that private sector players will be invited to express interest in the mega project.


Speaking at a Nairobi hotel during the Nairobi Business Stakeholders luncheon hosted by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the CS said the six highway lane and the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will link the capital city Nairobi with Mombasa city and the Port of Mombasa, will ease traffic flow and shorten the time taken for cargo to reach Nairobi and the region.


Currently, the two cities are linked by a two lane highway leading to frequent traffic snarl ups caused by cargo trucks, especially at weigh bridges like Mlolongo. 


Mr. Macharia said the construction of the six highway lane was part of the government’s initiatives of expanding the road infrastructure throughout the country to complement the upgrading of the railway line to SGR and the expansion of the Port of Mombasa and Lamu Port.


“The port cannot be seen in isolation – it should be seen as an integral part of infrastructure development,” said the Cabinet Secretary.


He added that to improve access to the Second Container Terminal at the Port of Mombasa and to avoid the congestion at Changamwe area, a new road was being built from Port Reitz to the Second Container Terminal. “The road is a 10.5 km dual carriageway and is expected to be completed by 18th May, 2018 at a cost of Kshs 11 Billion,” he said.


Macharia outlined the need to build special economic zones and inland container terminals to take advantage of the new efficiencies that will be generated by the port expansion. “The government will develop SEZ in Mombasa and Naivasha and we would like to urge politicians to support this development as it will create jobs on the back of the infrastructural linkages created by the SGR and the road expansions” He added. Transport Principal Secretary Mr Irungu Nyakera who was also present, urged the business stakeholders to be cognizant of the need to change their business models to match the country’s dynamic growth. 


Addressing the same meeting, the Managing Director Mrs Catherine Wairi highlighted to the stakeholders KPA’s key achievements, the major one being the completion and eventual commissioning of the first phase of the Second Container Terminal.


“The new Container Terminal which is operational, is capable of handling fourth generation vessels of 6000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity and we look forward to the positive impact this will have on your businesses and regional economies,” she said.


The Managing Director announced that the construction of the second phase would commence in June next year following the recent approval by the National Assembly of a loan of Kshs 27.3 Billion from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for that purpose.


Besides the progress made on the Second Container Terminal, she said KPA also had other ongoing projects such as: The relocation of the Kipevu Oil Terminal, Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zones, construction of the first three Berths for Lamu Port and the modernisation and expansion of the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD).


The Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT), she explained would be relocated to a more suitable location to allow for expansion. The project will involve the decommissioning of the existing KOT and the construction of an off-shore jetty near Dongo Kundu.

“Upon completion, the new terminal will have the capacity to berth four ships of up to 100,000 tons at once in contrast to the current maximum of one vessel of not more than 80,000 tons at a time,” she added.


On port performance, Mrs Wairi reported that the year 2015 the port registered a total throughput of 26.732 million tons up from 24.875 million tons handled in 2014 while container traffic had a growth of 6.3 percent registering 1,076,118 TEUs compared to 1,012,002 TEus handled in 2014.

The first six months of this year, she noted had witnessed an overall positive performance compared to a similar period last year.


“Accordingly, total cargo throughput registered a growth of 1.4 percent having handled 13.406 million tons up from 13.218 million tons handled in 2015.”

Container traffic on the other hand registered a slight drop rate of 0.6 percent registering 527,523 TEUs compared to 530,608 TEUs registered during the same period in 2015.


At the same time the KPA managing director regretted that the performance of transshipment traffic dropped to 260,444 tons of cargo in the first half of 2016 against 287,952 tons recorded in the corresponding period in 2015.


Consequently, a multi-agency taskforce was formed to look into ways of revamping transshipment traffic through the Port of Mombasa, she added noting “the taskforce has developed an action plan on the activities to be undertaken to recapture this market niche. We expect to see a positive trend by the close of this year.”


Ship turnaround time at the Port she noted had steadily improved from 3.7 days in 2015 to 3.0 days in 2016 while container dwell time had also improved from 5.3 days to 4.3 days in the same period.


On his part KPA Board Chairman Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka expressed the board’s commitment in supporting the management to achieve improved service delivery standards for the port not only to become the top in Africa but also match leading ports globally.


“The port is the beginning and end of a logistic chain. It is therefore critical that the port is efficient in its role of facilitating modal interchange. This requires that all parties with interest act efficiently and in harmony to facilitate delivery of cargo in the most cost effective manner,” said Madoka.



For media enquiries, please contact:

Bernard Osero | Kenya Ports Authority| bosero@kpa.co.ke

Elisha Kamau | Hill+Knowlton Strategies | 0734 26 58 62

John Mwandikwa| Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development | 0722 62 42 37​