Mozambique’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has given permission for the New Coal Terminal Beira (NCTB), which is controlled by the Indian concessionaire Essar Ports, to expand its facilities at the port of Beira. The aim of the investment is to allow the terminal to triple its existing capacity, which currently stands at 6mt (million tonnes) per year.

The decision to up capacity has been prompted by similar developments on the Sena Railway, which links Moatize, in Tete province, with the port of Beira, in Sofala province. This will shortly be able to handle 20mt of coal annually as opposed to the previous figure of just 6.5mt.

According to Minister Ambro´sio Sitoe, “The modernization of the Sena line is at a fairly advanced stage and should be completed by December, but the coal terminal at Beira port continues with a stockpile capacity for coal of around 6mt per year. This therefore requires the harmonization of the two infrastructures.”

The Ministry is also looking into a number of priority projects at the port, including the proposed Machipanda railway link, whose feasibility study has already been completed, as well as renovation of Berth 11, which will specialize in container traffic.

The government has every interest in promoting development of NCTB, since 30% of the equity stake is held by state-controlled Portos e Caminhos-de-Ferro de Moc¸ambique, leaving Essar Ports Ltd with 70%.