EU considers deal to invest Sh20bn on Mombasa Port

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By GITONGA MARETE

The European Union is considering investing at least $200 million (Sh20 billion) on Mombasa Port projects including modernisation of berths.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has already received a request for funding from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), which is being processed as a loan, while a grant is also in the pipeline.

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) country director Ahmed Farah said although a final decision had not been reached, there are high level negotiations going on and was optimistic the funding will come through.

“At the moment what we could say is that a loan of $180 million (Sh18 billion) is being processed while a grant of $20 million (Sh2 billion) is being considered.

“TMEA is assisting with the processing procedures and we expect a decision will be made soon,” Mr Farah.

He spoke during an interview with journalists on Wednesday at the Galaxy Restaurant, Mombasa, after he led a team of EU Delegation to Kenya on a tour of Mombasa Port projects being supported at the TMEA.

“The funds will be used for the ongoing modernisation of berths 11 to 14. We are also working closely with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a project that will involve replacing the Simba cargo clearance system with a new one,” he added.

Head of the EU Delegation Alessandro Tonoli said the economic bloc, through the EIB, was interested in supporting projects at the port aimed at increasing efficiency and facilitating trade.

“Mombasa Port is the gateway to East Africa and runs the economy of the region with a population of over 200 people and efficiency at the facility is critical and to achieve this we have identified projects for which funding is being processed,” Mr Tonoli said, adding that the finances may be channelled through TMEA.

The other major project being funded by TMEA is the construction of the cruise terminal that will cost Sh100 million.

The terminal is expected to provide services to cruise tourism sector that has started to show signs of recovery after improvement of security in the Indian Ocean.

“TMEA also plans to focus on other areas within the Coast region and not only the port and will support projects that in sectors with a quick economic transformation among the residents,” Mr Farah added.

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