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Tanzania: Projects Linked to Mtwara Port Due for Kick Off March

3 NOVEMBER 2019

CONSTRUCTION of the new berth and the cargo yard at Mtwara port is on the right course and the new cargo terminal is expected to be completed next March, the port management in the southern region has confidently stated. Briefing reporters who toured the port recently to witness the implementation of various development projects being carried out by Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) along the Indian Ocean shoreline, Mtwara Port Manager, Engineer Juma Kijavara, said the constructionproject is currently at 55 per cent of implementation.

He said the new berth with a length of 300 metres and 13.5-metre depth (draft) will have the capacity to accommodate mega cargo ships weighing 65,000tonnes. Currently, the port accom modates 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 137bn/-.

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 on Mtwara Port is to have four berths. "The old berth measures 380 metres in length while its yard has the size of 40,000 square metres. Therefore the construction of the second berth with a length of 300 metres will give us a berth of 680 metres 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. An ongoing expansion work is one of the measures by the government to implement a number of projects under Mtwara Development Corridor.

Mtwara Port Engineer Norbert Kalembwe said the construction of the second berth started in May 2017 under the 'Design and Build' approach. According to the port engineer, preparations of all necessary construction materials are nearing completion. Currently, Mtwara Port plays a significant role in ferrying cashew nuts abroad, including Vietnam. Cashew nut, a cash earning crop for the southerners, is one of the dependable forex earners for the country. Cement produced at Dangote Cement Plant has been reaching markets in Comoro, Zanzibar and some parts in SADC region through Mtwara Port. A fertiliser plant to be established in Lindi will also depend on the port for the product to reach markets in some parts in the southern region and beyond.

Source:https://allafrica.com/