The Star (Kenya)

Kenya Rail­ways to run Kisumu Port in new state merger plans

Kenya Trans­port and Lo­gis­tics Network con­sol­i­dates ports, rail and pipe­line

- MARTIN MWITA @Mwita­martin MAU­RICE ALAL Business · Kenya · Kisumu · Mombasa · Uganda · Comoros · Africa · Tanzania · Kenya Railways Corporation · Uhuru Kenyatta · Kenya Ports Authority · Kenya Ports Authority · Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation · Lamu · Malindi · Kilifi · Kiunga · Shimoni · Naivasha · Eldoret · Jinja · Nakuru

Kenya Rail­ways will op­er­ate the Sh700 mil­lion re­fur­bished Kisumu Port, the Star has estab­lished, ahead of its com­mis­sion­ing by Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta later this month.

is is among ma­jor op­er­a­tional changes com­ing with the merger of Kenya Ports Author­ity, Kenya Pipe­line and the Kenya Rail­ways Cor­po­ra­tion, into the Kenya Trans­port and Lo­gis­tics Network (KTLN), co­or­di­nated by the In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (ICDC).

e three en­ti­ties signed a work­ing frame­work in Mom­basa on Tues­day, at an event over­seen by Na­tional Trea­sury CS Ukur Yatani.

Sources fa­mil­iar with the changes told the Star the port is pre­dom­i­nantly used by Kenya Rail­ways and Kenya Pipe­line to trans­port oil con­sign­ments, hence the de­ci­sion to hive it from KPA’S man­date.

“ere is not a lot of cargo han­dling. Most of what is cur­rently mov­ing at the fa­cil­ity are oil con­sign­ments which are in wag­ons moved by rail. KPA has a lot other things to do at the main Mom­basa Port and ICDS (In­land Con­tainer De­pots),” the source said.

Estab­lished in Jan­uary 1978 un­der an Act of Par­lia­ment, KPA is man­dated to man­age and op­er­ate the Port of Mom­basa and all sched­uled sea­ports along Kenya’s coast­line that in­clude Lamu, Malindi, Kil­ifi, Mt­wapa, Ki­unga, Shi­moni, Funzi and Vanga. In ad­di­tion, the author­ity man­ages in­land wa­ter­ways as well as ICDS at Em­bakasi(nairobi) and the new Naivasha ICD. Pre­vi­ous ICDS in El­doret and Kisumu were also un­der its man­date. e Na­tional Trea­sury is how­ever in the process of re­view­ing le­gal and pol­icy frame­works in or­der to en­sure full im­ple­men­ta­tion of KTLN. Ac­cord­ing to Yatani, other agree­ments, in­clud­ing the Op­er­a­tional Level Agree­ments and other sub-agree­ments and struc­tures to im­ple­ment the frame­work agree­ment, will be con­cluded within 60 days. Kenya Rail­ways com­menced the use of the Kisumu Port last De­cem­ber when it shipped a con­sign­ment of 22 wag­ons loaded with 894,000 litres of diesel-ex­ports to Uganda. MV Uhuru, the main Kenyan ves­sel op­er­at­ing at Lake Vic­toris, has so far done about 17 com­mer­cial trips to Port Belt and Jinja since De­cem­ber, trans­port­ing more than 17,000 mil­lion litres of fuel.

Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works are on­go­ing on the 217-km Nakuru-kisumu rail­way track at a cost of Sh3.8 bil­lion and is ex­pected to be com­pleted in the next eight months.

e in­vest­ment in the port, jetty and rail fa­cil­i­ties in Kisumu are part of the gov­ern­ment’s plans to re­vive lake bound trade, which con­nects Kenya to the East Africa re­gion, mainly Uganda and Tan­za­nia.

On Tues­day, Yatani said an in­te­grated and seamless ap­proach of op­er­a­tional in­te­gra­tion will im­prove ef­fi­ciency and po­si­tion Kenya as Africa’s lead­ing lo­gis­tics hub

“e coun­try will reap the ben­e­fits of cre­ated syn­er­gies through in­creased ef­fi­ciency, lower cost of do­ing busi­ness and hence com­pet­i­tive­ness of our prod­ucts and ser­vices, and gen­er­ally higher re­turns on the in­fras­truc­tural in­vest­ment,” Yatani said.

e rail­ways boss Philip Mainga has how­ever re­mained tight lipped over the fa­cil­ity’s fu­ture op­er­a­tion by his en­tity.

“I can­not talk about the merger at the mo­ment. It is be­yond me,” the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor told the Star on phone.

KPA is ex­pected to han­dle con­tainer­ised and con­ven­tional cargo in the near fu­ture when de­mand for ser­vices at the Kisumu port in­creases. Com­pleted works at the port in­clude con­cret­ing of the port yard, con­struc­tion of the quay­side, re­pairs of the linkspan, re­pairs of the dry dock and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of all build­ings.

En­gi­neers have also cre­ated a rail link be­tween the port and KPC’S 45 mil­lion litre-ca­pac­ity Kisumu de­pot, for fer­ry­ing fuel. It is also linked to the Na­tional Ce­re­als and Pro­duce Board de­pot for evac­u­a­tion and de­posit­ing of grains.

 ??  ?? A ves­sel at the Kisumu Port loaded with cook­ing oil for ex­port to Uganda via Lake Vic­to­ria/
A ves­sel at the Kisumu Port loaded with cook­ing oil for ex­port to Uganda via Lake Vic­to­ria/
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya