Two Chinese construction companies are set to construct a 20 million passenger terminal in Kenya's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
The 178,000 square meters terminal, which is expected to cost about 645 million U.S. dollars, will give JKIA an extra handling capacity of 20 million passengers annually, boosting the airport's status as a regional hub of international standard.
"On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the 20 million passenger terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport," read a media invitation of the project.
The project will be undertaken by Anhui Civil Engineering Group (ACEG) and China Aero-Technology Engineering International Engineering Corporation (CATIC).
In October, CATIC completed the remodeling of the country's biggest airport terminal in a space of three weeks after the fire gutted down the arrival section on Aug. 7.
The Chinese contractor managed to remodel the airport's garage area into a temporary arrival terminal at a cost of 1 million dollars without charging the government.
The temporary terminal currently being used has greatly improved operations at the airport.
The project is projected to be completed in 2017 and will comprise 50 international check-in counters, eight air bridges for aircraft to dock, 45 aircraft parking stands on the linked apron space and an additional runway.
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Michael Kamau has instructed Kenya Airports Authority to ensure that the project is completed within four years, terming it "a matter of national urgency."
JKIA currently handles 6.5 million passengers annually, but the figure is expected to rise to 9 million passengers once JKIA Unit 4 (the fourth unit of Terminal 1) is completed in August or early September.
The new terminal will be de-linked from the existing airport, whose design capacity was 2.5 million passengers in 1978, is constrained to handling 6.2 million passengers as per 2010 statistics.
JKIA, whose infrastructure expansion started in 2006, serves most countries in the region, particularly passengers heading to major capitals in Asia, Europe and America.