KENYA – Kenya has launched a new US$ 70M (KES 9.5 billion) grain handling and storage terminal to support the transportation and storage of grains from the seaport to inland terminals.

According to Capital News, the historic milestone was commissioned by President Ruto who stated that the facility plays a crucial role in transforming the transportation and storage of grains from the seaport to inland terminals, utilizing the standard gauge rail (SGR).

Dubbed “the Embakasi Grain terminal,” the state-of-the-art facility was constructed by Grain Bulk Handlers Ltd (GBHL) and is envisioned to have a capacity of handling at least 134,000 metric tonnes of cargo.

The breakthrough comes at a time when local millers are expected to import duty-free grains to cushion the looming shortage hence a timely move.

According to GBHL, the facility will enable quick discharge, storage, and transportation of grain from ships to the inland Nairobi terminal on behalf of millers and manufacturers, ensuring more efficiency while also reducing transport and logistics costs.

Speaking at the launch of the facility, President Ruto expressed optimism that the terminal will play a crucial role in helping the country address food security in the country.

“We are thrilled to see the completion of this incredible project as it has also created more jobs for our people. We are proud to have this terminal in our country, and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our community and beyond,said the president.

Ruto added that the SGR terminal also contributes significantly to the commercial utilization of the standard gauge railway, which is a critical component of Kenya’s national transportation infrastructure.

On his part, Mohamed Jaffer, Chairman of GBHL stated that the journey to the successful completion of this project was not without its challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He revealed that the construction of the facility started in 2019 but the pandemic presented unprecedented challenges that delayed the project.

However, Mohamed assured that despite bottlenecks, the terminal will provide immense benefits to our customers and the region, and also create new employment opportunities, providing a boost to the local economy and creating a ripple effect across the supply chain.

According to officials, the terminal’s primary function is to receive through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), store, and discharge grains as per demand.

It offers a seamless, point-to-point logistics solution with various benefits, including a customs clearance facility available at the facility, reduced level of demurrage and pilferage, reduced inventory cost, reduced transit time, increased trade flows, and clients enjoying savings by collecting grain in bulk with the option for bagged.

GBHL owns and operates two specialized dry bulk discharge terminals at the Port of Mombasa with a total capacity of 414,300 metric tonnes, which includes a 258,500 metric tonne terminal for handling grain and a 155,800 metric tonne terminal for other dry bulk cargo.

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