High hopes as Tanga Port attracts mega ships

THE renovation and upgrading of the Tanga Port have started yielding positive results as the facility is next month poised to host the largest ship ever docked at the port.

According to Tanga Port authorities, the development follows completion of the first phase of the major improvements project by 100 per cent and the second phase, which has reached 93 per cent.

Tanga Port Manager Masoud Mrisha told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that as the work nears completion, the port is expected to handle the largest ever ship on March 15th this year -MV Metsovo from US, which will dock at the port with 50,066.147 metric tonnes of petroleum bulk petcock.

According to the port manager, the cargo will go to Sayona Chemicals and Neelkanth Chemicals Limited.

“Before the upgrading and renovation of the port, these kinds of ships were handled through stream operations but now the vessels will dock at the berth and serve quickly and efficiently,” Mr Mrisha said.

He further detailed that, the port is also expected to host another ship in early March this year with 5,000 tonnes of fertiliser (Ammonia Nitrate), the cargo which had never been handled at the port.

The Port Manager added that the port is also set to handle 2,481 tonnes of copper, which will pass through the facility to DR Congo.

“This is a good indication that our port is going to handle goods which have never passed through it,” he said.

The port manager said the first phase of the project which was implemented at a cost of 172.3bn/- involved expansion of the entrance channel, increase of the draft at the turning basin and procurement of modern equipment.

On the other hand, Mr Mrisha said the implementation of the second phase of the project involved the construction of new 450-metre-long berths at a cost of 256.8bn/-.

Mr Mrisha further noted that the port has also surpassed its cargo volume target for January this year which was 67,000 tonnes to 77,000 tonnes, noting that they are confident to attain 3 million target of cargo volume per year upon completion of the project.

He added that for the 2021/2022 financial year the port had a target of handling 714,800 tonnes of cargo but it surpassed its target by serving 986,000 tonnes.

According to Mr Mrisha, currently the port has the capacity of handling 750,000 tonnes of cargo but upon completion of the project the volume is expected to increase to 3 million tonnes per year.

He said increased efficiency will be another benefit of the project because numbers of days for cargo handling are going to be reduced from five to three depending on the size of the cargo.

“The port is currently having modern equipment for cargo handling and also the ships will now be docking at the port so they will be handled quickly and efficiently,” Mr Mrisha said.

“The safety of the goods will also be enhanced because there will be no more stream operations and the goods which had never been handled at the port will now be passing through the facility such as vehicles,” he said.

The port boss expressed gratitude to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for dishing out the funds for execution of the crucial project which will not only stimulate economic growth of Tanga Region but also open up social economic opportunities in other northern regions including Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara.

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