Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) said in an advertisement that the $300 million terminal would comprise two berths, which are due to be handed over by the contractor in March 2016. The project is funded through a soft loan from the Japanese Government.
According to KPA, Kenya received an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan dated November 20, 2007 from the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) under special terms for an economic project.
?KPA as the executing agency of the project intends to retain a private operator to operate Phase 1 of the second container terminal under a concession agreement between the operator and KPA through competitive bidding,? said KPA in an advert signed by KPA Head of Procurement and Supplies Mr Yobesh Oyaro.
KPA Managing Director Mr Gichiri Ndua said earlier this month that the construction of Phase 1 of the second container terminal was 70 per cent complete. The Government has defended the planned concession saying it would increase efficiency at the Port of Mombasa currently witnessing an upsurge of containerised cargo.
According to statistics released this month, the port recorded a container traffic growth rate of 11.5 per cent, reaching 463,807 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared to 415,948 TEUs registered during the same period in 2013.
KPA says the new terminal is projected to have a capacity of 450,000 TEUs after completion of Phase 1 and after the project is concluded in 2019, the capacity will rise to 1.2 million TEUs.
Some multinational logistics firms are already angling to operate the terminal and in July this year, Bollore Africa Logistics, announced that it would compete for the opportunity once KPA advertises.
President and CEO of Bollore Logistics Africa Dominique Lafont, said his firm would bid for the management of the terminal. ?We have been in Kenya for 45 years and have been interested to run Mombasa on a concession for a long time. I had thought about it as far back as 15 years ago,? said Lafont in July.
He also defended the concession saying that privately running the port could entrench Mombasa?s position as a regional shipment hub.
Dubai Port World is reportedly also keen to operate the terminal, as is a conglomerate of local based shipping logistics firms. The Dock Workers Union (DWU) has in the past called on the Government and JICA to look afresh at the concession arrangement before it is implemented.
Yesterday, the DWU Secretary General Simon Sang said from his rural home in Rift Valley that he will respond accordingly after he has seen the advert, but in the past he has said that when the terminal is complete, the union will look at the concession to ensure it involves all stakeholders.
By Benard Sanga, The Standard