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Tanzania launches $480 million port upgrade project

Staff Writer |
Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Sunday launched a $480 million project to upgrade the east African nation's largest port in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

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The Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP) will be undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Construction Company (CHEC), a subsidiary of the state-run China Communications Construction Company Ltd. The project was expected to be completed in 36 months.

Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia, said the Dar es Salaam port was vital for the economies of Tanzania and neighboring countries.

She said the upgrading of the port will enhance its operational potential and boost trade and job creation across the region.

"The project will also reduce the current cost of $200-$400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment," said Bird.

The port of Dar es salaam currently has 11 berths, with seven of these dedicated to general cargo and four to container operations.

The port handled 13.8 million tons in 2016 up from 13.1 million tons in 2013 and 10.4 million tons in 2011 reflecting an average growth of 9 percent per year over the last five years while recent numbers indicated a slowdown.

Bird said upon completion of the project, it was estimated that the capacity of the Dar es Salaam port will be increased to 25 million tons over the next seven years following the World Bank approval of $345 million credit and a $12 million grant to DSMGP.

The investment in the port is also expected to improve waiting time to berth from 80 hours to 30 hours as well as overall productivity, said Bird.

The DSMGP is to be implemented as part of a large ongoing investment program for the overall development of the Dar es Salaam port with the support of several development partners.

The government has contributed about $63 million through the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) while other partners, including the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed $12 million.

Trade Mark East Africa will also participate in the project.

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