DP World targets investment in Kenya’s special economic zone
Global ports giant DP World is exploring investment opportunities in Kenya’s Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a futuristic $304mn development aimed at boosting the economy of the coastal region, The Nation reports.
The company, which last year was at the centre of controversy over concession licences to run and operate various infrastructure components in the East African country, has joined a retinue of global investors angling for opportunities within the SEZ.
Dongo Kundu, which is one of the Vision 2030 flagships projects, is touted as a game changer for growth in the coastal region with investments ranging from a free port, free trade zone, industrial park, logistics zone, public utility among other facilities.
John Mwangemi, the Kenya Ports Authority acting managing director, said that a delegation from DP World is conducting a feasibility study on the possibility of setting up a motor vehicle import business for local, transit and transhipment markets.
Haism Ezz Elarab, DP World Head of Project Portfolio Group Planning and Project Management, led the delegation.
“Dongo Kundu has attracted interest from many companies and KPA is working around the clock to deliver the project within one year,” Mwangemi was quoted as saying by The Nation.
DP World has invested significantly in ports and port terminals not only in Africa but across the globe. In February, the company embarked on the construction of its latest port investment in Africa, the $1.1bn Ndayane deep-water port in Senegal, its biggest port investment in the continent.
In Kenya, DP World was last year entangled in a port concession controversy after then President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration engaged it to upgrade facilities at Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu ports.
Kenya was considering signing a concession agreement with the company to undertake the development, operation, management and expansion of transport logistics services in the country on various components.
Plans by the previous administration to accord DP World power to run at least four berths at the port of Mombasa, the three Lamu port completed berths and three special economic zones fell apart after the government faced criticism and accusation of trying to sell the port to foreign entities.