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The port of Maputo has received two new mobile cranes that will strengthen the capacity of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) to meet the growing demand for its facilities, particularly for handling bulk minerals. In addition, the port has recently acquired 14 mechanical diggers, eight tractors, eight forklift trucks, and two excavators.
The acquisition of the new machinery is part of a parcel of investments that includes maintenance contracts and training for staff on using the machinery. It required an investment of 19 million US dollars and will improve the port’s cargo handling efficiency. According to the port’s chief operations officer, Marla Calado, this investment is in line with the port’s master plan to improve the use of the quays, which also involves the rehabilitation and deepening of the berths.
The machinery will increase productivity to meet the demand which has grown since the port became able to handle Capesize bulk ships. Last June, the port handled its first ship weighing over 100,000 tonnes when the “Magali” left dock laden with 111,674 tonnes of chrome destined for China.
Calado explained, “our transit times have been improving and are often the best in the region. This new equipment will allow us to further improve operational efficiency and competitiveness”.
This year, the port intends to increase its capacity with the conclusion of the rehabilitation of quays numbers six, seven, eight and nine, totalling 1,058 metres of berths. The work includes deepening the berthing zone to 15 metres, allowing vessels of greater draught to dock. It is expected that these quays will be reopened in the last quarter of this year.
The rehabilitation of the four quays follows the deepening of the Maputo port access channel which was concluded in January 2017, at a cost of 86 million dollars. The access channel was deepened from 11 to 14.2 metres. Until the channel was dredged, the largest size ship that could enter the port was about 55,000 tonnes.
Last year, the port of Maputo handled a record 19.5 million tonnes of cargo, a seven per cent increase on 2017.
MPDC is a private-led consortium which holds the lease on the port. The partners in the consortium are DP World of Dubai, Grindrod of South Africa, the Mozambican private company Mocambique Gestores, and the publicly-owned port and rail company, CFM.Source: AIM