Tanzania launches major upgrade to Dar es Salaam port

Tanzanian President John Magufuli yesterday launched a $421m project to nearly double the capacity of Dar es Salaam’s cramped and congested sea port.

The World Bank and UK-funded Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP) will be undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Construction Company (CHEC), a subsidiary of the state-run China Communications Construction Company. It is expected to be completed in 36 months, Xinhua reports.

The plan is to double the port’s cargo handling capacity from 13.8 million tonnes last year to 25 million tonnes over the next seven years.

The volume of cargo handled by the port has been growing at an average of 9% a year for the past five years, says the World Bank.

As GCR reported earlier this year, work was to include dredging the access channel and turning basin to make the port available to ships with a draft of 14m.

Plans also called for a new container terminal, better railway linkages inside the port and two new berths.

Three roads leading out of the port will be upgraded to six-lane motorways in order to reduce the costly "dwell-time" of 10 days currently afflicting the port.

"The Port of Dar es Salaam is vital for the economies of Tanzania and neighboring countries," said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania. "Enhancing its operational potential will boost trade and job creation across the region, and reduce the current cost of $200-400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment."

The World Bank is lending Tanzania $345m for the scheme, and giving a $12m grant. The bank lists the overall cost of DSMGP as $421m.

The Tanzanian government has contributed about $63m while the UK’s Department for International Development contributed $12m.

Photograph: The Port of Dar es Salaam now (World Bank)

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