MOMBASA, Ten berths at the Port of Mombasa, Kenya’s biggest port, will be linked to the newly inaugurated Standardc Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, by the end of this year to boost cargo handling in the country.
So far, 13 berths at Mombasa port have been linked to the SGR to handle cargo from the port to the inland container depot in Nairobi. With a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per trip, the SGR carries twice the volume ferried by the old meter-gauge railway and this is expected to further ease congestion at the Port of Mombasa whose capacity currently stands at 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers.
The new railway is expected to handle 22 million tonnes annually compared with the meter gauge railway’s capacity which averaged 1.2 million tonnes annually. Although operations of the SGR commenced a week ago, its linkage with all the berths at the port has yet to be completed.
There will be 43 trains operating daily on the main line of the SGR. In order to ease the storage capacity at the Port of Mombasa, the inland container depot in Nairobi was built with a capacity of 180,000 TEUs.
Along the lenth of the rail corridor, however, movement of cargo by road is expected to reduce and ease the road maintenance budget.
Kenya is banking on the new railway to increase exports which have remained subdued at just 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The government that hopes affordability, speed, efficiency and safety will bring more transporters on board the new railway.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK