The dredging of the Port of Maputo access channel, deepening it from 11 to 14.2 metres, has been completed according to the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC).
The channel deepening project, intended to permit ships of up to 80,000 tonnes to access the Port of Maputo, makes the gateway more competitive in regional and international markets, and “is a strategic decision that will help to achieve the set target of processing 40 million tonnes of cargo by the end of the year 2020.”
Osório Lucas, Executive Director of MPDC, said during the ceremony marking the completion of the channel dredging that the idea behind the investments was to transform the port of Maputo “not into an alternative port but into a port of choice.”
“The additional three-metre depth of the access channel allows us to say that Maputo now has a port prepared to receive larger ships,” said Lucas.
Mozambique’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, quoted by news agency AIM, said in turn that the Port of Maputo had gained a prominent place in the region, consolidating its complementary position to the South African ports of Durban and Richards Bay.
The dredging programme was carried out by international company Jan de Nul Dredging Middle East FZE which, with three dredgers in operation, removed about 14.5 million cubic metres of sediment and rock material.
The total cost of the work was US$84.1 million, obtained through loans from Banco Comercial e de Investimentos (BCI) and Standard Bank, and MPDC’s own funds.