Agency eyes Voi for EPZ closer to Mombasa port

The government has identified Voi as the next location for a publicly owned export processing zone (EPZ).

Export Processing Zone Authority has issued a public notice seeking a parcel of land for EPZ enterprises keen on establishing bases closer to the Mombasa port.

“The required land should be in parcels covering at least 200 acres and located no more than 20 kilometres from Voi town on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway or Voi-Mwatate Road and no more than 10 kilometres from a market centre or populated area,” it said.

The notice published in the dailies also said the parcel of land should be within a five-kilometre radius of Mzima Springs water pipeline and that it should be in an area served by the national power grid as well as not have any encumbrances or charges title.

The new offer follows numerous complaints by some EPZ enterprises that getting land for expansion is nearly impossible due to cost.

The enterprises, mostly operating in the apparels and clothes sector, blamed low production on the high cost of facility establishment and called on the government to intervene.

The law has been amended to allow private entities to establish EPZs, prompting several multinationals to move into Tatu City and Tilisi Light Industries, both in Kiambu County.

Other licensed EPZs currently under construction are in Nairobi, Mombasa, Uasin and Nakuru counties, targeting exports to the rest of Africa and beyond while reserving 20 per cent of their goods for the local market.

For the apparels products, the government has increased reserved non-taxable sales to 40 per cent aimed at improving access of new clothes by locals who have for decades relied on second-hand imports from Europe and America.

Currently, there are 92 EPZ companies in operation across Kenya.

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