Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo highway construction set to start next year

The project will take approximately four years to be complete and will be run by the Lamu Road Consortium (LRC).

Construction of the first section of the Lapsset project, 530-kilometre, Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo Highway, is set to start mid next year.

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), the project’s implementing agency, has entered into a commercial agreement with Lamu Road Consortium-- comprising Group Five Proprietary limited, a South African consortium and Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) -- through a public-private partnership.

Transport Secretary James Macharia said the government had entered a deal with a consortium to fund the project to a tune of Sh62 billion ($620 million) in initial capital investment..

“KeNHA is signing an agreement with this consortium to basically kick off the commencement of early works of construction of the Lamu-Garissa-Isiolo road which is 530km and is part of the 2,000 km Lapsset corridor, slated to start by June next year,” Mr Macharia said during the signing of the agreement on Wednesday in Nairobi.

The Cabinet secretary cited lack of finance as reason behind the delay of early works of the project.

The government has however opted to go ahead with the commercial agreement before finalising the financial agreement later on for the entire project.

“One of the issues in the project has been finance but because it is so key we could not wait until the financing is put in place or other elements of that consortium of projects so we are now starting the development of the key project and in the process we shall sign financial agreement for the entire project,” he said.

The project will take approximately four years to be complete and will be run by the Lamu Road Consortium (LRC). The same company would also run the operations and maintenance phase for 25 years after the completion of the project.

The Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor – which is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project with seven components – was launched in 2013 and has a budget of approximately Sh2 trillion.

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