Construction of crucial road to begin after govt secures financing

By Benson Rioba

Construction on the Loichangamatak-Lodwar-Nadapal National Trunk road is set to commence after the government has secured 31.2 billion shillings to finance its construction.

The road that links Tanzania through Kenya to South Sudan is expected to boost regional integration and trade. It is part of the 600-kilometer Eastern Africa Regional Transport, Trade and Development project.

As Kenya plans to start crude oil production in June this year, the government is upgrading infrastructure to facilitate fuel transport from oil wells in Northern Kenya.

So far, the government fully acquired the remaining 50 percent of the Changamwe-based Kenya Petroleum Refinery from Essar Energy in a 504.5 million shillings deal.

Today, the government through the Kenya National Highway Authority stepped up the preparations by signing a 31.2 billion shillings upgrading contract for Loichangamatak – Lodwar – Nadapal international trunk road.

The road project awarded to three Chinese companies is expected to be completed in three years follows last year’s signing of 6.7 billion shillings contract to construct a  50 kilometers Loichangamatak Corridor.

Kenya will transport a bulk of her 600 million barrels of crude oil on road and railway before shipping it across the world from Mombasa.

The 600 kilometers road will help ferry crude oil from Turkana to Eldoret before being loaded to wagons and finally transported to Mombasa for export.

The road project which is a joint initiative between the Kenyan government and the World Bank also seeks to increase trade and integration between Kenya and south Sudan.

Kenya is expected to produce 2,000-4,000 barrels of oil per day from this year.