Mega plans to transform port sector

THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) outlined its plans for mega ports investments on Tuesday, aimed at boosting the country’s economy and improving regional trade connectivity.

The Authority is looking to increase the efficiency of the Dar es Salaam Port and enable the country to accommodate the largest containerised cargo ships.

In an effort to allow the entry of the largest ships, with a capacity of carrying between 12,000 and 25,000 containers, the authority is planning to construct two long berths in Bagamoyo.

Currently, the Dar es Salaam Port can only handle ships with a maximum capacity of 8,000 containers.

“It is now time to construct long berths to accommodate the largest ships that the Dar es Salaam Port cannot handle,” said TPA’s Director General Plasduce Mbossa at a meeting with journalists in Dar es Salaam.

The planned construction of the two berths is currently in the stage of seeking a contractor, and the berths will be part of the envisioned Bagamoyo Port.

“We are starting with the two long berths and later on we will be ready to receive an investor from the private sector to construct the others under a joint venture,” explained Mr Mbossa.

“Each berth may cost between 250bn/- and 360bn/-, so there is a need to engage private investors to support the construction,” he added.

Another plan is to fast-track the construction of the Kurasini Industrial Logistics Park project, which the TPA believes will decongest and facilitate speedy offloading of cargo at the port.

The Kurasini Industrial Logistics Park will receive cargo from the port, creating space for storing the offloaded cargo.

Also, the TPA plans to set up a single buoy mooring (SrM) for handling liquid cargo such as petroleum products for tanker ships. This will be in line with the construction of two tank farms for oil storage at the Dar es Salaam Port, in order to expedite oil tanker offloading.

Furthermore, four additional berths will be constructed at the Dar es Salaam Port, in addition to the current 12 berths.

“A private investor will also increase the depth of berths 8-11 to increase port capacity,” said Mr Mbossa.

Speaking about the reasons behind these plans, Mr Mbossa explained that the port currently has only 12 berths, which means that only 12 vessels or less can dock at a time.

“This creates challenges, especially during the high season between September and February when there is an increase in cargo,” he said.

“Furthermore, sometimes berths are used for social activities such as the docking of a floating book fair or military vessels,” Mr Mbossa added.

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