The Kenyan Government is planning to start the KES1.4tn ($16bn) Lamu Port-Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor in February 2012, which will link the north of the country to southern Sudan and Ethiopia.

The project involves road building, a port at Lamu and bay at Manda, a railway line to Juba, in addition to three airports.

The corridor connecting the Lamu port to the south of Sudan and Ethiopia will provide an opportunity to open up the remote and dry northern region of Kenya.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga told that the project also includes an oil refinery at Isiolo.

The corridor will run from Lamu, passing through Hola and Bura to Garissa, while another route will stretch from Garissa to Mwingi and Matuu, providing access to the mines for shipment through the port being built.

The third branch will run from Garissa and to Isiolo, which will be the meeting point for three corridor routes.

The Government of South Sudan will construct its part of the corridor link to the Kenya border near Lokichoggio.

The project also includes the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa road corridor, which involves building 438km road sections, including the 245km Merille River-Marsabit-Turbi road section in Kenya, as well as the 193km Ageremariam-Yabelo-Mega stretch in Ethiopia.

It is anticipated that the project will help the Kenya tap into the significant resources in the region it covers, giving a large boost to the country’s economy by 2030.

The project will benefit trade in Kenya and Ethiopia by improving transport, reducing transportation, shipping costs and transit time, as well as increasing the volume of trade in Mombasa port.

The Kenyan Government has already completed upgrading of 100km Emali-Loitoktok road at a cost of KES4.2bn ($49M), which included an extension of 12km from Loitoktok to Kibauni at the Kenya-Tanzania border.