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Cable Systems in Kenya

The Likoni Cable Express will be a state-of-the-art multi-gondola cable car system connecting either side of the Likoni channel crossing. This innovative passenger transport solution will operate seven days a week with a journey time of 3-4 minutes.

  1. Objectives of the LCE

    • Feasible Alternative solution
    • Complementary passage for commuters
    • Decongestion
    • Traffic Management
    • Greater Capacity and Faster Speed
    • All weather operations
    • Revenue Generation
    • Access to Finance
    • Faster project Lead Times

  2. Social economic benefits

    • Local Job creation of 66 permanent jobs (several casual labourers), up to 500 during construction;
    • Long term cable car company will be very meaningful corporate tax payer;
    • Project supports Vision 2030 Section 4.1.3 Second Medium term objective of increasing South Coast Tourism;
    • Housing development/social standards will greatly benefit from proximity of the new departure/ arrival stations
    • Large number of add-on business can be created (guided tours for tourists, service providers of all kinds to commuters);
    • A landmark installation and tourist attraction with far reaching scenic views (+20km) over Mombasa, the beaches and Indian Ocean;
    • It will attract other forms of investment including faster real estate development of the South Coast Area.

  3. Project scope

    This project will be undertaken as a Turnkey Solution taking on the Build-Own-Operate- Transfer Model. The expected output will be provision of an aerial cable connection on the Likoni crossing complete with the actual system, associated infrastructure and billing/management capability. Included will be the End to End Operation and Management with Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Clear deliverables both from an Operational and Financial basis. (Facility reverts to KFS after expiry of concession period)

  4. Service offering

    The Likoni Cable Express will be an end to end solution offering the following benefits:

    • Increased crossing resiliency by offering a complementary service to the ferry;
    • Increased channel capacity, allowing more commuters to cross as their numbers increase;
    • Faster mode of passenger crossing in under 4 minutes for a no-wait service;
    • No Interaction with maritime vehicles, this being an aerial service, hence better handling of emergency services;
    • All-weather service, even when wind speeds are up to 100km/hr and Tsunami warnings are in force; and
    • Provides spaces for high-visibility advertising and mounting of broadcasting antenna.

  5. Project partners

    Implementation of such a historic and complex project requires the support of various types of vendors representing a variety of disciplines and technical expertise. The below table seeks to highlight and acknowledge the key entities who have shared their expertise in support of this Likoni Cable Express Project effort:

    Firm Name Expertise
    Trapos Limited Project Development Sponsor
    Mboya, Wangong’u, Waiyaki Legal Advocates
    Doppelmayr Aerial Cable Technology
    Synthesis/SIS Project Management/Architecture
    Madison Insurance Insurance/Policy Development
    AECOM Engineering
    Think Synergy Limited ICT
    Pollia Media Limited Advertising/Marketing/Communications

Implementation plan

Project is phased out into 4 distinct phases as detailed below:

Project Approval phase (Complete)

during this phase, the Consortium and Government agree on terms and details on the Consortium’s exclusivity to develop and finance the project under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Act. Conceptual project design and detailed feasibility have been completed. A financial model and legal documentation were created to help Government and the consortium understand risks in the project. An assessment of demand was also undertaken to determine potential ridership and tariff structure for the project. Accordingly, the Concession Agreement finalized between the Government and Consortium will include the exclusive right for the Consortium to develop and operate the cable car solution at the Likoni crossing for the agreed-upon 25 year Operation phase. The concession agreement also governs rights and obligations of the parties if the contract is terminated. Now that the successful granting of exclusivity has been given to the Consortium ( Likoni Cable Express Ltd. Project Company), the project development phase described below shall now commence. 

Project Development phase (ongoing-near completion)

During this phase, all detailed architectural design, engineering design, sub-surface, and environmental testing will be completed. In addition, the final Government of Kenya Project Support Letter shall be concluded between the Consortium and Government. Upon the completion of all previously-mentioned final design work and testing, the Project shall then be granted the necessary construction-related plan approvals for Groundbreaking to commence. Simultaneously, during this phase any outstanding Conditions Precedent (CPs) items are completed, including the formal provision of any necessary project land rights, enabling the project to achieve Financial Close. It is anticipated that this phase shall be completed within approximately 4-6 months.

Construction phase (18-24 months)

For an aerial cable system of this proposed size and configuration, it is currently anticipated that the construction phase shall be concluded within 18-24 months.

Operation phase (25 years)

The consortium is granted the exclusive right to operate the project for an agreed period of time to recover its initial investment costs as well as operating costs and generate a reasonable return for investors.

7Cruise speed(m/s)
5500Capacity per hour(pax)

Key approval timelines since 2013 culminating in a 2018 project groundbreaking

12 February 2013

Project concept submitted to Treasury

11 April 2013

Stakeholders conference

3 May 2013

EoI submitted to MoTI

10 September 2013

Concept presented to KPS

31 March, 2014

PPP Unit requests Feasibility study

5 March, 2015

Feasibility study submitted

31 March, 2015

KFS adviced to seek stakeholders concurrence

29 April 2015

Stakeholders concurrence given

12 October 2015

Concession agreement negotiations between trapos and KFS

17 December 2017

Commercial close


Ground breaking ceremony

About LCE

The Likoni Cable Express will be a state-of-the-art multi-gondola cable car system connecting either side of the Likoni channel crossing. This innovative passenger transport solution will operate seven days a week with a journey time of under 3 minutes.