WORKS and Transport Deputy Minister Mwita Waitara has directed the management of Mtwara Port to review tariffs in their custody and set reasonable charges that will attract large cargo ships.
In line with that, Mr Waitara asked the Port Manager to work on the Dangote factory request to use the harbor in transporting cement produced in Mtwara to other markets in other regions and neighboring countries.
He made the call here over the weekend, shortly after touring the port to see the work in progress at the port, following the completion of the project that involved construction of the 300- metre berth and a cargo storage yard.
The move was part of the government’s efforts to open up the southern transport corridor. Mr Waitara said the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and the management of Mtwara Port should discuss the tariffs and other barriers being raised by the customers and work on them immediately.
“You have to review various charges in order to attract companies with large ships to come and collect cargo here,” he said. The deputy minister said TPA should set up reasonable tariffs that will attract rapid economic growth at the port.
He said the newly constructed 300-metre berth and a cargo storage yard were among the advantages of the port to attract volume of cargo if only the tariffs are reduced.
“It is better to reduce the charges that will attract more companies to use our ports,” he said. TPA was prompted to build the new berth with a length of 300 metres and 13.5- metre depth, to enable the terminal accommodates mega cargo ships weighing 65,000 tonnes.
Before the construction of the new berth, the natural harbour had the capacity to accommodate cargo ships with 40,000 tonnes (Dead Weight –DWT) as the old berth was measuring 380 metres in length while its yard had the size of 40,000 square metres. The second yard constructed measures 79,000 square metres, creating more space for cargo.
In another development, Waitara asked the Mtwara Port to speed the process of building a warehouse for cashewnut storage, as they waited for transport.
In response, the port management told Mr Waitara that they are in the process of building a storage house. Currently Mtwara Port is serving the neighbouring country of Mozambique as plans are underway to serve more countries including Zambia and Malawi.