MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- A newly expanded port berth, as one of two key Vision 2030 flagship projects launched by the Kenyan government in July 2011, reopened in Kenya's port city Mombasa on Wednesday.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said at the opening ceremony that the facility should serve the interests of the entire East African region.
"The new Berth 19, with 15 acres of stacking yard, provides additional annual capacity of 200,000 TEU and will significantly improve the port's operational efficiency," said Kenyatta.
The Kenyan government intended to turn the Port of Mombasa into the largest and most business-friendly sea-port on the East African coast, he said.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame also attended the event.
The new berth would speed up the cargo delivery to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), northern Tanzania, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia, according to Michael Kamau, Kenyan cabinet secretary for transport and infrastructure.
The expansion of Berth 19 was funded by the Kenyan government at 82.15 million U.S. dollars and undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).
Kamau commended CRBC's performance, saying the project was completed two months in advance within budget.
Li Qiang, general manager of CRBC Kenya office, said the project will increase the port throughput by 33 percent, consolidating the leading status of Mombasa as well as Kenya in East Africa.
Kenyan officials said the expansion was the first over the past two decades to meet increasing demands in the East African region. The Kenyan government is also planning to upgrade roads and railway lines to and from Mombasa port.