Kenya has marked a historic milestone as a new grain handling and storage terminal was today launched in Embakasi, Nairobi. The advanced facility, commissioned by President William Ruto, plays a crucial role in transforming the transportation and storage of grains from the seaport to inland terminals, utilizing the standard gauge rail.
The Embakasi Grain Terminal, constructed by Grain Bulk Handlers (GBHL), will enable quick discharge, storage and transportation of grain from ships to the inland Nairobi terminal on behalf of millers and manufacturers, ensuring more efficiency while also reducing the transport and logistics costs.
(TOP: President William Ruto officially opens a plaque to commission the Grain Bulk Embakasi SGR Handling and Storage Terminal in Nairobi. Watching on is GBHL Chairman Mohamed Jaffer and DP Rigathi Gachagua).
Speaking at the launch of the facility, President Ruto expressed optimism that the terminal will play a crucial role in helping the country address food security in the country.
He said: “We are thrilled to see the completion of this incredible project as it has also created more jobs for our people. We are proud to have this terminal in our country, and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our community and beyond.”
The SGR terminal also contributes significantly to the commercial utilization of the standard gauge railway, which is a critical component of Kenya’s national transportation infrastructure.
Speaking at the same event, Mohamed Jaffer, Chairman of GBHL said: “The journey to the successful completion of this project was not without its challenges, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic presented unprecedented challenges that threatened to delay the project, but with the support and commitment of stakeholders, GBHL was able to overcome them and complete the project on schedule.
“The terminal will provide immense benefits to our customers and the region, and also create new employment opportunities, providing a boost to the local economy and creating a ripple effect across the supply chain,” he added.
Embakasi terminal’s primary function is to receive through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), store and discharge grains as per demand. It offers a seamless, point-to-point logistics solution with various benefits, including customs clearance facility available at the facility, reduced level of demurrage and pilferage, reduced inventory cost, reduced transit time, increased trade flows, and clients enjoying savings by collecting grain in bulk with the option for bagged.
“Our inland clients have seen the benefits of the terminal during its trial run since its construction. Customers are gaining in using this model without considering other secondary savings” added Jaffer.
GBHL owns and operates two specialized dry bulk discharge terminals at the Port of Mombasa with a total capacity of 414,300 metric tonnes, which includes a 258,500 metric tonne terminal for handling grain and a 155,800 metric tonne terminal for other dry bulk cargo.
GBHL commenced operations in 2000. GBHL is Kenya’s largest transporter of bulk commodities. As a result of its huge investment in modern and large-scale logistics infrastructure, GBHL is able to transport large quantities of bulk such as grain, wheat, fertiliser and other commodities in a timely and efficient manner. This in turn provides numerous benefits for its customers as it leads to more productivity and cost-savings.
How GBHL Works:
The Journey of a Grain of Wheat A miller (consignee) would, for example, order X tonnes of grain from overseas, and this is loaded on a large shipping vessel destined for Mombasa. As the vessel approaches the port, it can choose one of several births to dock and offload at.
GBHL’s birth at the Port of Mombasa offers rapid discharge and bulk storage facilities, allowing vessels a quicker turnaround at port by offloading quicker and cheaper. That’s already a huge cost saving for the shipping lines and consignees.
The bulk grain is then loaded onto train wagons and transported to the inland Embakasi Terminal in Nairobi by SGR, creating important revenue for the SGR project. The grain is offloaded to customs bonded warehouses at Embakasi, where the millers/consignees can send their trucks to collect their grain for onward processing