Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the upgraded Inland Container Depot (ICD) on the outskirts of Kenyan capital Nairobi to promote efficient transportation of bulk cargo from the port of Mombasa to the interior.
The state-of-the-art inland cargo handling facility that was upgraded by the China Roads and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is expected to decongest the port of Mombasa while lowering the cost of transporting goods.
Kenyatta on Saturday said the launch of the ICD was in line with his government's quest to modernize transport infrastructure in order to stimulate economic growth.
"Over the last four years, the government has invested in the expansion of the country's transport and infrastructure network with a view of reducing the cost of doing business," Kenyatta said.
"Today's commissioning of the new Nairobi Inland Container Depot is expected to pass on the benefit to both importers and exporters of cargo," he added.
Cabinet members, officials from the Chinese Embassy in Kenya and senior executives from the CRBC attended the launching ceremony.
The ICD is located at Syokimau, 3.5 km from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Nairobi Terminus station. Kenya launched the expansion and modernization of the ICD in order to reduce congestion at the port of Mombasa and bring freight services closer to clients. The project is expected to boost Kenya's stature as a regional transport and logistics hub.
Kenyatta said the ICD is part of mega infrastructure projects the government has been implementing to hasten the attainment of vision 2030 goals on socio-economic transformation, reports Xinhua.
Zhao Yang, spokesperson from the SGR Head Office of the CRBC, said the upgraded ICD will greatly increase the throughput capacity on completion and commencement of operation.
"The ICD has been upgraded and equipped with new railway arriving and departing facilities, container loading and unloading equipment that significantly improve the container handling capacity and logistics efficiency," Zhao said.
Li Xuhang, Charge d'Affaires at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, said the facility will strengthen bonds of friendship between Kenya and China.
"The launch of Inland container depot is also the new progress made in the fruitful cooperation between China and Kenya in the year 2017," Li said.