The dredging of the access channel to the port of Maputo from 11 to up 14.4 metres (Chart datum) has been completed. The official completion was highlighted on a ceremony held on 10 February 2017 at the Port of Maputo with the presence of the Minister of Transports and Communications, Eng. Carlos Alberto Mesquita.
“Those three additional meters allow us today to affirm, with pride, that we are a port prepared to receive capesize ships”, said Osório Lucas, CEO at Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC). “Until very recently, these same ships had to make double stops, one in our port and another in another port of the region, or even be diverted to neighboring ports.”, he added.
Osório Lucas, Executive Director of the MPDC, said during the ceremony that marked 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, who added that a ship with a draft of 12.9 metres left the port last week without having to wait for the tide, which could not happen before.
The Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita, affirmed: “As a result of the investments we are making, Maputo Port has gained a prominent place in the region, placing the hinterland closer to the main international sea routes, consolidating its complementary position to the South African ports of Durban and Richard's Bay.”
Nevertheless, the Minister underlined that the efforts of investment at the port have to be corresponded by equal investments in the logistics operators. “We urge that there be speed in the reform of the rail system to give vent to the volumes of cargo that will demand the Port of Maputo. It is not enough to transport this cargo: it is necessary to do it with efficiency, security and reliability”, he affirmed. “It is imperative to find partnerships between the various players in the chain and efficient and competitive logistics solutions”, he added.
The deepening dredging of the Maputo Port channel, awarded to international company Jan de Nul Dredging Middle East FZE, started in May and was completed in late December 2016, almost three months before the deadline. With three dredgers in operation, and a series of other equipment, it 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 the MPDC’s own funds.
Alongside the channel dredging, Maputo Port has recently commenced with the provision of bunkering services to all vessels, moored or at anchorage. The supply of fuels and lubricants are being carried out under an agreement between MPDC and Petromoc Bunkering and is part of a series of initiatives aimed at improving the services offered to shipping lines by the port, making it more competitive in the regional and international markets.
Rehabilitation of quays 6, 7 and 8 - a project developed alongside dredging to provide deep water berths - is currently under evaluation and is due to happen by 2017. These developments will provide deep-water berths to enable the port to respond to the growing demand also significantly increasing annual throughput.
About Maputo Port Development Company
Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) is a national private company formed from the partnership between the Mozambican Ports and Railway Company (Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique) and Portus Indico, comprised of Grindrod, DP World and local company Mozambique Gestores.
The Port of Maputo was concessioned by the Government of Mozambique (GOM) to MPDC in 2003. In 2008, Grindrod and DP World acquired the majority shares of Portus Indico, the major shareholder (51%) and sponsor of the project. The Government of Mozambique (GOM) approved the extension of the concession in 2010 for another 15 years until 2033 to allow the full implementation of the Master Plan of the Port.
The original capital dredging of the access channel was concluded in 2011 taking the channel from a draft of -9.0m to -11.0m and was the foundation for the implementation of the Master Plan, allowing the port to receive vessels with a dead weight (DWT) of 65000 tons.
Port Maputo holds the rights to finance, rehabilitate, construct, operate, manage, maintain, develop and optimize the concession area. It also holds the powers of a Port Authority, being responsible for maritime operations, piloting, towing (tugboats), stevedoring, terminal and warehouse operations as well as planning and development.
About Petromoc Bunkering:
Petromoc Bunkering Limitada is a joint venture between Petróleos de Moçambique S.A. and Augusta Energy.
Petromoc & Augusta have joined hands to pool together the respective companies’ strengths and experience to create the most reliable bunkering supplier in Mozambique. Petromoc is the largest oil marketing company (OMC) in Mozambique with a strong distribution and logistics presence in all ports while Augusta is an international oil trading firm specialized among other things in off-shore bunkering and therefore perfectly positioned to support the operations of the joint venture.