Dredging of Maputo Port shipping channel has begun



Dredging of Maputo Port shipping channel has begun

One million cubic meters have already been dredged and second dredger arrived last Friday

Maputo, 29 June, 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, commenced one month ago and the milestone of one million cubic meters of dredged material has already been achieved. The first of three dredgers mobilized by Jan de Nul Dredging Middle East FZE, the leading international dredging company that is performing this operation, arrived in the Port on the 20th May with the first dredging cycle proceeding on the 21st May.  

During the 10 months period of the dredging works, it is estimated that a volume of 12 million cubic meters will be dredged from the channel. On completion, the dredging project will enable access for ships of up to 80,000 tons making Maputo Port more competitive in regional and international shipping markets.

Several dredgers and supporting equipment have been mobilized for this operation. The first one, De Lapérouse, a trailing suction hopper dredger, is currently working 24/7 to ensure a fast and efficient production cycle. A bigger suction hopper dredger, HAM 310, arrived last Friday, 24th June, and the largest cutter suction dredger in the world is expected to arrive in July. Other equipment mobilized by Jan de Nul include split hoppers, a surveying boat, a crew boat and a multitasking boat.

Paulo Mata, Executive Projects, said: "There is a permanent coordination between the dredger and the dredging team involved on the one hand and the port operations on the other hand, in order to ensure the accessibility of the channel. Maritime operations have, of course, priority and the dredging will cause no disturbance to regular port operations”.  

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 – which will also allow them to receive vessels of up to 80.000 tons – 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.

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 2010 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.


Media enquiries:


Soraia Abdula

[email protected]

Cell.: (+258) 84 3199 124