FRENCH shipping giant CMA CGM, the world's third largest container carrier, has expressed interest to invest in the new Port of Lamu, 240 kilometres from Mombasa, reports state owned Kenya News Agency.
Marseille-based CMA CGM vice president Ludovic Rozan disclosed this during a familiaristion tour of the facility when he was received by the Lamu Port general manager Abdullahi Samatar.
Mr Rozan said the Port of Lamu, capable of docking 12,000- to 18,000-TEU ships, would be a good transshipments hub for to Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Mombasa and even Mozambique.
"To be able to grow in Lamu port we need to grow in Mombasa port and therefore we expect the Kenya Ports Authority to give us a dedicated berth in Mombasa," said Mr Rozan.
CMA CGM East Africa managing director Jean-Baptiste Longin said the shipping company has invested heavily in West and North Africa especially in Morocco but had nothing in the East Africa.
Mr Longin said that he was positive about Kenya's economic growth and the notable improvements of CMA CGM in the country where he noted the shipping company has a market-share of 19-20 per cent and at third position coming after Maersk and MSC shipping companies.
"Today, we are number three in the world, we are coming to Mombasa three times a week and in the next three years, we shall grow to become number two," he said.
Mr Rozan added that CMA CGM operates a fleet of 5,000 - 23,000-TEU vessels.
Mr Samatar said the recent arrival of two mobile harbour cranes in addition to the two rubber tyre gantry cranes had boosted the new port's capability of performing ship operations.
He said through the national Vision 2030 which aspires to provide cost-effective world class infrastructure, the government initiated the construction of a second commercial.
Mr Samatar said the Port of Lamu is envisaged to have a total of 23 modern deep-sea berths with a quay length of 400 metres each but that phase one of the project comprises three berths with the first already operational and the remaining two expected to be ready by end of October 2021.