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SGR set to handle conventional cargo

Nairobi. The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will soon start handling conventional cargo after the extension of the rail line to cover 10 berths at the Port of Mombasa. SGR Project Manager Engineer Maxwell Mengich said completion of the extension line will make it possible for cargo discharged from a ship loaded directly into the SGR.The line will be completed by August according to the Kenya Railways officials.

Its completion will enable SGR to handle non-containerised (conventional) cargo such as clinker, fertiliser, grains, and steels.The extension of the Sh327 billion Mombasa-Nairobi SGR which will cover 10 berths at the Port of Mombasa will be complete by August. (NMG) Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina said the construction work is more than 50 per cent complete. “The bridge is intended to connect SGR to berth number one to 10, which largely handles bulk and other conventional cargo,” Mr Maina said.He said the SGR line is currently connected to berths number 11 to 21, which mostly handle containerised cargo discharged at the port by a ship.

“We are also targeting conventional cargo since we have wagons that can handle this too. On the Nairobi side, such cargo will be handled at the Nairobi Freight Terminal (NFT), which is next to the terminus,” Mr Maina told Business Daily during an interview. He said the reason for linking all berths to the SGR line is to ensure efficiency at the port and utilise effectiveness of the facility to generate revenue.

“The focus is to ensure SGR can lift any type of cargo from the port in order to optimise on its capacity and efficiency. With the additional capacity at Port Reitz Yard, it will be possible to handle many trains in up and down direction,” Mr Maina said. SGR Project Manager Engineer Mengich said the completion will see huge percentage of cargo transported via SGR.

CFS operator Hezron Awiti said forcing cargo to be transported through SGR is against the World Trade Organisation laws.

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