EXPANSION of Dar es Salaam Port under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) has reached 90 per cent, it was disclosed yesterday.
This project is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the port for the benefit of public and private stakeholders.
Tanzania Port Authority Director General Deusdedit Kakoko said yesterday that the expansion is meant to make the port competitive by allowing big ships to dock.
He said the project involves construction works for all seven berths, which four of them have been completed, as the contractor now embarks on building the remaining three berths.
The work is set to be completed by April this year when the project would be handed over to the government in May this year, Kakoko said.
He said this during a meeting with journalists and editors at TPA hall in Dar es Salaam, where they had an opportunity to visit the improvements made at the port under DMGP worth 337bn/-.
Initial works included removal of old structures at the area for the construction of the berths -- including pulling down a cargo shed located at berth number 7.
This shed was being used by the Impala Company to consolidate copper from neighbouring DR Congo and Zambia loading into vessels for export.
Dar es Salaam Port targets attracting all ships carrying vehicles and other goods destined for neighbouring land-locked countries as its ongoing expansion will enable it to handle up to 600,000 vehicles annually.
“Our aim is to be the leading port in East and Central Africa, probably receiving more vehicles than the southern part of Africa such as Durban. “Since 2016-2017 we have witnessed growth from 47,000 cars to 170,000 cars. This was after witnessing massive growth in 2019-2020, where we received 167,000 cars and so, we are going to receive 200,000 cars,” he said.
Speaking over berth number one to four, which now operates, he explained that the port is now capable of accommodating big vessels that previously could not dock due to shallow depth of the berths.
After upgrading these berths the port can now off-load a vessel of huge capacity in just five days while previously it took 14 days.
Upgrading of the berths and reduced number of days for loading and off-loading enable more ships to dock at the port.
On the installation works of 19 flow meters at the port, Kakoko said the work has reached 99 per cent.
This is partly through the 47bn/- allocated for installation of flow meters at the three major ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara.
According to Kakoko, the installation works at the Dar es Salaam port will be completed soon.
“Once these meters become operational, we will be having accurate measurements and address the issue of cheating, thus enabling the government to earn more revenues,” he said.
To ensure that the government receives revenue efficiently, TPA has set up scanners to verify containers entering the country that would ensure that the load listed in the container is correct.
The scanners are operated by TPA and Tanzania Revenue Authority. In July 2017, President John Magufuli officially launched the project to upgrade Dar es Salaam Port, which mainly involves the upgrade of seven existing berths and the building of a new one.
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) is in charge of the upgrade project which also deepens the anchorage and strengthens the yard at the port.