Kenya Ports Authority has begun operations at the new Sh29 billion second container terminal, setting pace for the port's new cargo handling capacity.

Container vessel MV Busan Trader, with a length overall of 210 metres docked at berth 21 on Monday, becoming the first vessel at the terminal. KPA public relations manager Bernard Osero said the ship was expected to complete discharging 934 containers yesterday, and load a similar number on her return voyage.

Kenya's Transport and Infrastructure Permanent secretary Irungu Nyakera said the facility “should be put into maximum use to enhance efficiency in cargo handling”. The first phase of the terminal, which has an annual capacity of 550,000 TEUs, was handed over to KPA in February, boosting the port’s container handling capacity by 50 per cent.

It has increased total terminal capacity at the Port of Mombasa to 1.55 million TEU’s from 1.1 million. The first phase comprises berths number 20 and 21 measuring 250 metres and 300 metres, with an additional small berth.

Maersk Line, MSC, African Shipping Line, CMA-CGM, Emirates Shipping Lines all operate from Mombasa Port.