Aerial view of Kilindini Harbour
|Location||Mombasa, Mombasa County|
|Type of harbor||Natural/Artificial|
|Annual cargo tonnage||22 Million |
Kenya Ports Authority
Kilindini Harbour is a large, natural deep-water inlet extending inland from Mombasa, Kenya. It is 25-30 fathoms (45–55 meters) at its deepest center. It serves as the harbour for Mombasa, with a hinterland extending to Uganda and Sudan. Kilindini Harbour is the main part of the Port of Mombasa, the only international seaport in Kenya. It is managed by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Apart from cargo handling, Mombasa is frequented by Cruise ships.
"Kilindini" is an old Swahili term that means "deep". The port is so called because the channel is naturally very deep. Kilindini Harbor is an example of a natural geographic phenomenon called a ria, formed millions of years ago when the sea level rose and engulfed a river that was flowing from the mainland.
Mombasa has a centuries old history as a harbour city. The Kilindini harbour was inaugurated in 1896 when work started on the construction of the Uganda Railway.
During World War II, while Kenya was a British colony, Kilindini became the temporary base of the British Eastern Fleet from early 1942 until the Japanese naval threat to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) had been removed. Nearby, the Far East Combined Bureau, an outstation of the British code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park, was housed in a requisitioned school (Allidina Visram High School, Mombasa) and had success in breaking Japanese naval codes.
On 29 August 2013, expansion of the port enabled it to handle Panamax Vessels. The project was launched in July 2011 at a cost of $82.15 million by the Kenyan Government and was carried out by China Roads and Bridge Corporation. A new berth, Berth 19, with 15 acres of stacking yard, has provided additional annual capacity of 200,000 TEU. The project is to increase the port throughput by 33 percent, consolidating the leading status of Mombasa as well as Kenya in East Africa.
Dongo Kundu Freeport
The Kenyan Government has also started facilitating the development of a Free Port on a 3,000 acres of land owned by the Authority at Dongo Kundu area through public private partnership arrangements. Also underway is the Road Bypass project to link the project area and Mombasa – Lunga Lunga – Nairobi Highway. Known as the Dongo Kundu bypass the projects aim is to ease traffic flow to Kenya's South Coast. Construction is to begin in late 2013.
Proposed Lamu Port
However, there is a new international seaport under-construction in Lamu known as the Lamu Port. Lamu Port is to be larger than Kilindini Harbour but the Kenya Ports Authority says that the two ports won't compete but complement each other.
The port will have 32 berths and dredged entrance channel done to -18 meters to enable it to accommodate ships of 100,000 tons (Post-Panamax Vessels) The cost for the Short-term Plan for Lamu Port Project, including the first 3 berths, is estimated to be US$664 million. The First Phase is to be completed by 2016.
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