The capacity of the Port of Dar es Salaam will be increased to 25 million tonnes over the next seven years following the World Bank (WB) approval of a $345 million credit and a $12 million grant to the new Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP).
The investments in the port will also improve waiting time to berth from 80 hours to 30 hours as well as overall productivity, according to a WB statement.
“The Port of Dar es Salaam is vital for the economies of Tanzania and neighbouring countries,” said Bella Bird, the World Bank country director for Tanzania, who also oversees Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.
“Enhancing its operational potential will boost trade and job creation across the region, and reduce the current cost of between $200 and $400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment,” Bird said in the statement.
The DSMGP will be implemented as part of a larger ongoing investment programme for the overall development of the port with the support of several development partners.
The Government of Tanzania is contributing about $63 million through Tanzania Ports Authority, while TradeMark East Africa is supporting improvements in the spatial and operational efficiency of the port through the rehabilitation of access and outlet roads, and demolition and relocation of sheds.
The United Kingdom through its Department for International Development (DFID) is also contributing a $12 million grant. This support will co-finance the activities in the DSMGP, and further support will be used for capacity building programmes in institutions like Bandari College, the vocational training facility run by TPA, the Dar Maritime Institute, and the College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Dar es Salaam.
“The UK is committed to supporting Tanzania’s growth and helping to improve the lives of Tanzanians. We’ve been a committed partner to the Tanzanian Ports Authority over the last six years. As well as the $12 million grant to the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project, DFID has funded 100 per cent of the work TradeMark East Africa has implemented at the port over recent years,” said Sarah Cooke, the British High Commissioner.
“We hope that these investments will help Tanzania take advantage of the opportunities that trade offers for future growth and prosperity.”
John Ulanga, TradeMark East Africa country director, commended the World Bank and the UK Government for providing this much-needed investment to improve capacity and efficiency of the Port of Dar es Salaam.
He said TradeMark East Africa has implemented a number of interventions at the port over recent years using DFID funding, including port access roads, feasibility studies for Berths 1 – 7, and the port’s dredging studies to prepare for this major investment,” Ulanga added.
The Port of Dar es Salaam currently has 11 berths, with seven of these dedicated to general cargo, including container, dry bulk, break bulk and RoRo operations, while the other four are for container operations.
The port handled 13.8 million tonnes of cargo in 2016, up from 13.1 million tonnes in 2013, and 10.4 million tonnes in 2011, reflecting an average growth of 9 per cent per year over the last five years.
While recent numbers indicated a slowdown, the respite is likely to be short lived as projections for the long-term suggest the port’s volumes could double, from the current 14 million tonnes to 38 million tonnes by 2030, in an unconstrained scenario.
Components of project
The new project has two main components: the improvements to the physical infrastructure which involve the deepening and strengthening of Berths 1 to 11; the construction of a new multipurpose berth at Gerezani Creek; the deepening and widening of the entrance channel and turning basin; and the improvement of rail linkages and platform in the port.
“Improvement of the port’s infrastructure is long overdue,” said Eng Deusdedit Kakoko, the director general of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA).
“We have been performing rather optimally, yet under very difficult conditions.”
The institutional strengthening component will support the restructuring of TPA and further develop its capacity to act as a landlord, manager and developer of the ports in Tanzania, while at the same time building capacity for future private sector participation in port operations.
“The project represents the start of an incremental process towards increasing the capacity of the port of Dar es Salaam, and strengthening its economic role in the region,” said Richard Martin Humphreys, the World Bank’s lead transport economist and task team leader.
“It aims to make the necessary improvements to the current sub-structure, while providing a new berth, facilitating the access and egress of larger vessels to the port, and improving the integration with the access modes of road and rail.