Posted  Thursday, September 29  2011 at  18:13

It will cost up to $25 billion (about Sh2.5 trillion) to complete the Lamu-southern Sudan-Ethiopia corridor, meant to improve trade between the countries.

This more than doubles Kenya’s national budget of 2011/12, which stood at Sh1.2 trillion.

The project, whose ground breaking is November, is expected to be funded through Public-Private Partnerships, government and donors.

It is hoped to be complete by 2030 to coincide with the year Kenya should have attained a medium-level economy status.

Speaking during the closing day of the two-day regional conference on infrastructure at Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Lamu Project manager, Mr Peter Oremo, said the government will seek long-term funding through infrastructure bonds.

“The project involves a huge capital outlay, which is why it will be implemented in phases. The benefits once completed are also huge,” he added.

Its components include a port, railway, highway, airport, pipeline, resort cities and support infrastructure like water and telecommunications.

According to projections, the port will require $5.3 billion, railway $8.6 billion, highway $1.6 billion, pipeline $3.7 billion, resort cities $680 million, airport $560 million, refinery $2.8 billion, while other support infrastructure, including water and telecommunications, is projected to cost $2.5 billion.

“This is the most ambitious project since the construction of Kenya-Uganda railway, over 100 years ago,” President Kibaki said when he opened the conference on Wednesday.