Maputo, 23 February, 2016: The dredging of the access channel to the Port of Maputo, from -11 meters, to accommodate vessels with a sailing draft of up to 14.2 meters on the tide, is estimated to begin in Mid-May and will be executed by Jan de Nul, a company headquartered in Luxembourg, once an award is made. The dredging project will last 10 months, including mobilisation and demobilisation.
The project will enable access for ships of up to 80,000 tons making Maputo Port more competitive in regional and international shipping markets. Mozambican banks are providing financing and the support of the Government of Mozambique and of the Mozambican National Port and Railway Company (CFM) have been instrumental in ensuring the project is implemented. The total cost of the project is approximately US$115 million and the involved parties are currently under contract negotiations.
CEO of MPDC, Mr. Osório Lucas, said: "Dredging the port access channel is a strategic decision that will not only help to achieve our target of handling 40 million tons per annum by the end of the concession period[AC(FS1] , but will have long term benefits for the Mozambican economy.
We believe it will attract more cargo, create more jobs, encourage the growth of smaller businesses associated with the port and highlight the need for more infrastructure development as well as increase our contribution to the economy of the country. "
Dredging the channel is one of a range of projects embarked upon by MPDC and various terminal operators within the Port of Maputo recently, including the expansion of the ferrochrome terminal, new grain terminal, the expansion of the container terminal and rehabilitation of berths 3, 4 and 5. The rehabilitation of berths 6, 7 and 8 is currently under evaluation and is targeted to proceed in 2016. These developments will enable the port to meet growing demand and achieve significantly higher volumes per annum[AC(FS2] .
Major investment in infrastructure, equipment and staff were initiated after the change in the shareholder structure in 2008 when Grindrod and DP World took over management of MPDC. This is the second dredging of the access channel to the port. In 2010/2011, it was dredged from -9.4 meters (depth designed for the channel) to -11 meters which helped increase cargo handled from 12 million tons in 2011 to over 19 million tons in 2014.
Note to the editor:
About Maputo Port Development Company
Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) is a national private company formed from the partnership between the Mozambican Ports and Railway Company (Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique) and Portus Indico, comprised of Grindrod, DP World and local company Mozambique Gestores.
The Port of Maputo was concessioned by the Government of Mozambique (GOM) to MPDC in 2003. In 2008, Grindrod and DP World acquired the majority shares of Portus Indico, the major shareholder (51%) and sponsor of the project. The Government of Mozambique (GOM) approved the extension of the concession in 2009 for another 15 years until 2033 to allow the full implementation of the Master Plan of the Port.
The capital dredging of the access channel was concluded in 2011 and was the foundation for the implementation of the Master Plan, allowing the port to receive vessels with a dead weight (DWT) of 65000 tons.
Port Maputo holds the rights to finance, rehabilitate, construct, operate, manage, maintain, develop and optimise the concession area. It also holds the powers of a Port Authority, being responsible for maritime operations, piloting, towing (tugboats), stevedoring, terminal and warehouse operations as well as planning and development.
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[AC(FS1]Change made to align with MPDC press release of 27 January
[AC(FS2]See comment above and as per my comment on 25 January, I am not sure we should say this due to declining volumes?