Research confirms that a new port at Ponta Dobela in southern
Mozambique could be viable if it can attract export coal from
Botswana, where high-quality seams could generate up to 40mt
(million tonnes) a year.  These quantities would far exceed
capacity at Maputo Port, where up to 25mt of cargo year can be
handled.  In addition, its draught restrictions would prevent very
large ships from docking.  In contrast, Ponta Dobela would not
require dredging of its approach channel and would therefore
have no restriction on vessels size.  Further arguments in its
favour include the fact that ports in Durban and Richards Bay
are approaching saturation point. Barry Cross