Tanzania To Dredge Port Channels

The Dar es Salaam Port is set for massive dredging under a project to increase the depth of all the seven berths to allow for the handling of all types of vessels.
Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director General, Mr Ephraim Mgawe said last week during a signing ceremony for a grant worth 1.1 million US dollars (about 1.8bn/-) for the project's feasibility study in the that the objective was to modernise and increase the port's efficiency and make it more competitive in the global maritime business.
"The main purpose of the study is to come up with technical details and designs to be used for the construction of modern berths and cargo handling facilities to place the Dar es Salaam Port on a competitive footing in the regional maritime business," Mr Mgawe said.
Money for the project has been sourced from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) and the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA). The study will also hire consultants to investigate the most efficient options for the project as part of the Master Plan for developing ports in the country.
At least Mtwara is the deepest natural harbour on the African coast of the Indian Ocean. Six companies have tendered for the project and the winner will be given only two months to finalise a report with actual works expected to commence next July.
Mr Mgawe declined to name the companies until a winner is picked, he said. The Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) Country Director, Ms Paulina Elago, said the organisation will extend its support to the country and the rest of East Africa to ensure faster development.
"We will continue to support TPA infrastructure development to enable it play its strategic role to serve the economies of Tanzania's land linked (formerly landlocked) countries," she said.
Vessels calling at Dar es Salaam Port have increased by over 16 per cent, thanks to improved efficiency at both the container cargo terminal as well as the Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ).
The positive performance is a two-year high, according to the latest reports and nullifies the notion of over congestion at the port due to delays in ship handling.
Statistics show that the number of ships that docked at the port reached 410 last year compared to 352 in 2009. Consequently, the number of containers handled increased to 409,517 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) - from 353,738 TEUs in 2009.