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Kilindini Harbour is a large, natural deep-water inlet extending inland from Mombasa, Kenya. It is 25–30 fathoms (46–55 m) at its deepest center, although the controlling depth is the outer channel in the port approaches with a dredged depth of 17.5 m (57 ft). It serves as the harbour for Mombasa, with a hinterland extending to Uganda. Kilindini Harbour is the main part of the Port of Mombasa, the only international seaport in Kenya and the biggest port in east Africa. 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.
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 6.1 ha (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.
The Kenyan Government has also started facilitating the development of a Free Port on a 1,200 ha (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 m (59 ft) to enable it to accommodate ships of 120,000 DWT (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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The Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway is a standard-gauge railway (SGR) in Kenya that connects the large Indian Ocean city of Mombasa with Nairobi, the country's capital and largest city. This SGR...