DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday
launched a 480 million U.S. dollars project to upgrade the east
African nation’s largest port in the commercial capital Dar es
The Dar es Salaam
Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP) will be undertaken by China
Harbour Engineering Construction Company (CHEC), a subsidiary of
the state-run China Communications Construction Company Ltd. The
project was expected to be completed in 36 months.
Bella Bird, the
World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and
Somalia, said the Dar es Salaam port was vital for the economies
of Tanzania and neighboring countries.
She said the
upgrading of the port will enhance its operational potential and
boost trade and job creation across the region.
“The project will
also reduce the current cost of 200-400 U.S. dollars for each
additional day of delay for a single consignment,” said Bird.
The port of Dar es
salaam currently has 11 berths, with seven of these dedicated to
general cargo and four to container operations.
The port handled
13.8 million tons in 2016 up from 13.1 million tons in 2013 and
10.4 million tons in 2011 reflecting an average growth of 9
percent per year over the last five years while recent numbers
indicated a slowdown.
Bird said upon
completion of the project, it was estimated that the capacity of
the Dar es Salaam port will be increased to 25 million tons over
the next seven years following the World Bank approval of 345
million U.S. dollars credit and a 12 million U.S. dollars grant
The investment in
the port is also expected to improve waiting time to berth from
80 hours to 30 hours as well as overall productivity, said Bird.
The DSMGP is to be
implemented as part of a large ongoing investment program for
the overall development of the Dar es Salaam port with the
support of several development partners.
The government has
contributed about 63 million U.S. dollars through the Tanzania
Ports Authority (TPA) while other partners, including the United
Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has
contributed 12 million U.S. dollars. Trade Mark East Africa will
also participate in the project.
Makame Mbarawa, the
Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, said CHEC will
deepen and strengthen the depths of seven berths at the port.
“The Dar es Salam
port has a depth ranging from 8 to 11 meters ... this prevents
big international ships from coming to our port,” said Mbarawa.
He added: “Deepening
and strengthening of the berths will allow big container ships
to come in. All these efforts are being done in order to
increase competitiveness of the port.”
Mbarawa said that
big vessels carrying up to 19,000 tons require between 12 and 13
meters of water depth to dock at the port.
He said expansion of
the port was expected to improve efficiency and boost government
revenue collection through the TPA and the Tanzania Revenue
“Improvement of the
port’s infrastructure was long overdue because we have been
performing rather optimally, yet under very difficult
conditions,” said Deusdedit Kakoko, the TPA Director General.