25bn/- tugboat to improve services at Mtwara port

MTWARA: TANZANIA Ports Authority (TPA) has purchased a tugboat worth 25bn/- to provide towing and pushing assistance to vessels particularly those lacking the propulsion flexibility needed to navigate specific areas at the natural deep-water port of Mtwara.

The tugboat dubbed Msanga Mkuu was assembled over the weekend at the port ready to be put into operation. Made and purchased in Vietnam, the tugboat can pull or push 55 to 58 tonnes cargos across the body of water.

Speaking shortly after the arrival of the marine vessel (tugboat), Mtwara Regional Commissioner Colonel Patric Sawala said the purchase of the tugboat signaled the government’s will to improve port efficiency towards delivering the desired services to port users.

“The purchase of the tugboat clearly demonstrates government’s ongoing commitment to provide reliable and desired services to Mtwara Port users,” he said.

Acting Manager of the Port, Mr Sudi Mwarabu, said the purchase of the port follows the directives issued by President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan during her visit at the port in September 2023.

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“The President promised to set more budget for improving the port towards making it the largest water gateway and an engine for the Southern Zone and neighbouring countries’ economic boom…and here she is walking her talk,” he said.

The President directed TPA to ensure the port is well equipped with all the equipment to facilitate port operations that attracts customers to use the massively face-lifted port and the second largest port in the country.

On other hand, Mr Mwarabu said the tugboat is set to help the management of the port be able to handle more and larger vessels at a time.

Mtwara District Commissioner Ms Mwanahamisi Munkunda said the investment at the port is set to yield significant social and economic benefits for ‘wananchi’ at Mtwara Region as well as the country’s economic growth. Latest development report available to the ‘Daily News’ by the Port Manager Fernand Nyati indicates that the volume of Cargo handled through the Port grew by 304.92 per cent in the last three years.

“The promising record was due to the improved infrastructures that enhanced efficiency, acquisition and use of modern cargo handling equipment and technologies that now markets the port globally and thus attracting various shipping companies as well as export and import agencies to use the port,” he said.

According to the Data, the port handled 1,628,615 million metric tonnes in the fiscal year 2022/2023 up from 402,200 target while in 2023/2024 the port handled 1,126,300 tonnes surpassing the target of transporting 100,000 tonnes.

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