Maputo, 26 Jun (AIM) – The Mozambican government on Monday formally accepted delivery of three boats to improve operations in the port of Beira, in the central province of Sofala.
The two barges and a tugboat are part of a project budgeted at 38.2 million euros to ensure that the port’s channel remains unblocked by sand and silt.
The project includes the construction of a trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) with a capacity to hold 2,500 cubic metres of silt, repairs to the tug boat “Buzi” and the pilot vessel, along with technical assistance and training.
Financing for the project comes from the Danish government through its development agency DANIDA, which donated twenty per cent of the budget, with the remaining 80 per cent coming in the form of a loan to the Mozambican government.
The work is being carried out by the Danish consortium JGH/RN (Johs. GRM-Hanssen and Rohde Nielsen), which won the contract in January 2011 from Mozambique’s public owned ports and rail company, CFM. The project began in July 2011 and will run until 2013.
After the acceptance ceremony, Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Eusebio Saide said that the port of Beira has improved its system for dredging the access channel and has recently opened a new coal terminal.
Saide pointed out that work is also taking place to improve the Sena and Machipanda rail lines to increase their capacity and improve their safety.
He added that this is all part of a national strategy for integrated transport development, which includes the construction of coal terminals at the port of Nacala a Velha in Nampula province and the port of Macuse in Zambezia province. Both of these will require new railway lines.
The governor of Sofala province, Carvalho Muaria, stressed that Beira port is a major economic driver of the city, Sofala province, Mozambique and the southern African region.
Emergency dredging at the port was completed in July 2011 at a cost 43 million euros (61.3 million US dollars) of which 23 million euros came from the Mozambican government through a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), 10 million euros from CFM, and a further 10 million euros from the Dutch government.
The dredging of the access channel began in July 2010 and covered 22 kilometres, with two Japanese dredgers working non-stop to deepen the channel. The dredging removed 9.32 million cubic metres of silt and sand and enabled the port to receive ships up to Panamax size at any time of day. (AIM)
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