The Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) has officially started renovating and upgrading Tanga port by dredging the entrance channel and the berth. The mega project is in line with Tanzania’s ambitious massive investment development plan to heighten the port’s competitiveness and cargo handling capacity.
Tanga port upgrade project
The improvement at Tanga Port aims at turning the gateway into the highly competitive terminal, serving customers in the country, the East African region and the great Lakes region as the plan now is to have a 12m depth berth from the current 5m. Future plans will also involve construction of a passenger terminal and a modern Single Mooring Point (SPM) for oil cargo.
TPA Board Chairperson, Prof Ignas Rubaratuka and TPA Director General Deusdedit Kakoko said Tanga Port is a strategic terminal for the country’s economy. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is implementing the project whose first phase that costs US $74m is expected to last for 12 months.
Currently, the Tanga port terminal does not accommodate mega cargo ships as the entrance channel and the berth are shallow, a factor that compels cargo ships to anchor about 1.7km away (outer anchorage) from the berth. “Outer anchorage has so many disadvantages as it increases TPA’s operational costs, a burden which is sometimes passed on to traders and later consumers,” said prof Rubaratuka. From the outer anchorage, he said, cargo is then brought to the berth by budges and tug boats, spending much time handling a single cargo, including increasing operational costs.
Prof Rubaratuka further said that upon completion of the first phase, cargo ships will be able to anchor only two 200m away from the berths before offloading cargo as preparations for the implementation of the second phase of the project that will involve dredging up to the berth are being made.