Construction works on US $10bn Bagamoyo Port project in Tanzania has stalled after China and Tanzania disagreed on terms of infrastructure investment.
Director General of the state-run Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Deusdedit Kakoko confirmed the reports and said that they were given commercially unviable conditions which they rejected.
“ We have rejected China’s offer and told them let’s meet halfway because it will lead to a loss. The Tanzania Government has officially written to the Chinese port operator on the disputed terms. We are still waiting for them to begin fresh talks when they are ready, we will resume negotiations,” said Kakoko.
Bagamoyo Port project was signed in 2013 by former President Jakaya Kikwete and Chinese President Xi Jinping when he visited the country. It is also supported by Oman’s State General Reserve Fund.
China Merchants Holdings International, China’s largest port operator and Tanzania signed a framework agreement to construct the port and a special economic zone which seeks to transform the country into a regional trade and transport hub.
The company through a statement said that many years of negotiating with Tanzania bore no fruits. “The project is fully commercial and China Merchants Port have always followed principles of commercial feasibility and a win-win cooperation,” the company stated.
The port, to be built 75 KM North Dar Es Salaam will connect with Kenya’s Mombasa port which is 300 KM away and will include an industrial zone, link roads and rail transport. Construction works include building of a 34 kilometer road joining Bagamoyo and Mlandizi and 65 kilometers of railway connecting Bagamoyo with the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) and Central Railway.
The mega project is estimated to take about 30 years to construct to reach its full potential. The port will be able to handle twenty times more cargo than the port in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, the country’s largest port.