Rwanda is soon getting a new inland port which is scheduled to boost the 48-year old Magasins Generaux du Rwanda (MAGERWA).
In January 2016, the government signed a 25-year concession agreement with an Arab port operator – Dubai Ports World (DPW) group, to construct and manage the ‘Kigali Logistics Platform’ (KLP).
Construction has since been ongoing. It includes a container yard and goods storage facilities, space for cargo forwarders, shippers and transport operators.
The massive facility located in Masaka sector, Kicukiro district is built on 30 hectares. The facility which includes customs clearance services, will be ready for use in July next year.
While on a guided tour of the facility KT Press established there is also customs inspection, tax offices, maintenance and repair, banking and IT infrastructure.
Construction will be conducted in two phases – the first phase started in March and will be completed before July 2018 while the entire project will be completed in 2020 at a cost of $80 Million.
“We have concluded landscaping and are already laying the foundation,” Sumeet Bhardwaj, Chief Executive Officer of DPW Logistics Rwanda Ltd told KT Press.
“Work is at a good pace and we expect to deliver before the deadline.”
The first phase will cover 11ha and host a 12,000sqm2 container yard with a capacity of 50,000 units and two 19,600 sqm2 warehouses with an estimated annual capacity of 640, 000 tons each. The existing MAGERWA warehouse handles 5, 000 containers and 100, 000 tons annually.
Bhardwaj told KT Press that once the first phase is completed, the second phase will start with facilities like refrigerators which he said, are “very expensive”.
Upon completion, KLP is expected to reduce transport costs and increase profits for businesses through reduction of turnaround time of trucks and containers.
“We hope to reduce shipping time once this facility is launched,” Eng. Justin Dusabe, General foreman at KLP site told KT Press. Business owners who use MAGERWA services in their activities have a lot to gain once the Platform is completed. Irenee Iraguha owner of ‘Go Fast ‘ a transport company in Kigali dealing in cargo shipment told KT Press, that the facility is a relief.
“Shipment to Kigali can take up to three weeks. It has to pass through customs clearance and other services that also need to be paid for but this will be no more once the facility starts operating,” Iraguha said.
DPW is planning to introduce a transport company that will offer modern transport facilities with tracking system.
“Rwanda’s eagerness to become the business hub in the region attracted us to invest in this infrastructure,” Sumeet said.
DPW has a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals across the world employing more than 35,000 people. In Africa, the company operates in Algeria, Djibouti, Mozambique and Senegal.