TANGA Port contribution to trade and economy is set to increase following completion of the expansion project.
It is expected that the port would further decrease costs of transporting cargo for traders in the Northern Zone who were forced to use the Dar es Salaam and Mtwara Ports.
Tanga Port Manager Masoud Mrisha stated recently that the improvements have taken consideration of ensuring that big vessels can dock at the port for loading and unloading.
Mr Mrisha explained that the improvements have been done in two phases, the first phase, which started in 2019 at a cost of 172.3bn/- was meant to deepen the entrance channel from three metres to 13 metres to allow large vessels with a length of up to 200 metres to enter the port. The second phase was for expansion of two berths.
“The first phase also involved procuring equipment for loading and unloading including a mobile crane with capacity of carrying 100 tonnes, empty handler for carrying empty containers,” he said.
Others are forklift with 50-tonne capacity and two others with capacity of carrying five tonnes, Rubber Tyre Granty (RTG) with 45-tonne capacity, Terminal Tractor (TT) and four spreaders.
Mr Mrisha noted that before such improvements, the Tanga Port had a challenge of accommodating large vessels because of having shallow depth.
“Previously, the port had a capacity of handling 750,000 tonnes of cargo annually, but after the improvements currently the port can handle 3 million tonnes and it operates 24 hours,” he said.
After the second phase of improvements the port’s capacity to host large vessels has increased whereby so far it has accommodated 7 big ships, with a total of 67,371,406 tonnes.
Port Manager also thanked and congratulated the Sixth-Phase President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan for accepting to endorse 430.1bn/- for completing the project.
Furthermore, he said, the plans were ongoing to improve passenger berth, whereby initial steps for the project have kicked off, including the feasibility study and announcing tender to acquire a contractor.
On his part, Acting Project Manager of the China Harbour Engineering Company, Eng Bian Liang, said their company has huge experience, having implemented such projects effectively in different countries.
“In undertaking the Tanga Port project the company deployed Chinese and Tanzanian engineers and other experts with high experience. Engineers from both Tanzania and China closely collaborated during the project implementation,” he said.
Eng Liang noted that the project has enabled knowledge transfer to Tanzanian technicians, saying until completion the project has enabled Tanzanian technicians acquire more skills that would enable them to work in such projects anywhere in the world.
A total of 500 employment opportunities were created during the project.