Tanzania has announced that construction of the new berth and the cargo yard at Mtwara port is on track and the new cargo terminal is expected to be completed next year in March. Mtwara Port Manager, Engineer Juma Kijavara, said the construction is currently at 55% of implementation.
New multi-purpose terminal
The new berth with a length of 300m and 13.5m depth (draft) will have the capacity to accommodate mega cargo ships weighing 65,000tonnes. Currently, the port accommodates cargo ships with 40,000 tonnes (Dead Weight-DWT). All the necessary state -of -the art cargo handling equipment, including modern mobile cranes and other heavy lifting machines, will be availed at the port upon completion.
The construction of the new multipurpose terminal is being implemented through a joint venture of two Chinese firms- M/S China Railway Construction Engineering Group( CRCEG) and China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group (CRMBEG) – at the tune of US $59m.
Increased port capacity
According to Engineer Kijavara, the modern multipurpose cargo terminal will be capable of delivering quality services to the southern regions (Lindi, Mtwara and Ruvuma) but with specific focus on serving the neighbouring countries in the southern African region – Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
However, he said, the government’s future plan for Mtwara Port is to have four berths. “The old berth measures 380m in length while its yard has the size of 40,000 square metres. Therefore the construction of the second berth with a length of 300m will give us a berth of 680m in length,” he said. The second yard, currently under construction, measures 79,000 square metres.
Upon completion of the project next March, Mtwara Port will increase its cargo handling capacity from 400,000 tonnes per annum to 1000,000 tonnes. Mtwara Port, which is described as a natural harbour, is a strategic port for the country given its geographical position.