THE Dar es Salaam Port set to accommodate large vessels with capacity to carry between 4,000 and 6,000 tonnes after construction of a new berth.
Works, Transport and Communications Minister, Isack Kamwelwe inaugurated berth Number One on Tuesday evening, saying the completion of berth number one was part of an ongoing construction of eight berths at the port.
The government allocated a total of 337bn/-to repair and construct berth number one to eight, in an ongoing project to expand the Dar es Salaam Port under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP).
The project is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the port for the benefit of public and private stakeholders.
The project involves two components, including improving the physical infrastructure and institutional strengthening and implementation assistance.
Eng. Kamwelwe said the expansion of the port was among pledges the President John Magufuli made during the election campaigns in 2015.
During the campaign the President promised to look for funds to upgrade the ports and transport infrastructure in the country.
The completed berth number one, having 191 metres width, is now functioning and the vessels started to dock for loading and offloading.
The Minister further said it is expected that the construction of berth number two, 255 metre width, would complete in next mid July.
“Completion of construction of these berths means that the port is going to receive many ships...there are also enough machineries for loading and offloading the consignments.
Making the vessels spend less time at the port, this is what businesspeople and owners of vessels want,” he said.
Meanwhile, he assured that the government would also embark on upgrading the Tanga Port for enabling it accommodating big ships. This would include dredging the port to increase the depth so that the big ships could dock.
The upgrading of the ports goes hands in hands with constructing the central railway to Isaka, a move which would attract more exporters and importers to use the Dar es Salaam Port.