Dar es Salaam. The government yesterday signed a Sh336 billion contract with a Chinese construction conglomerate to expand the Dar es Salaam Port.
The deal was inked by officials of the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).
Under the pact to be implemented in the next three years, berths number one to seven will be expanded to 15 metres.
The project will also involve extending the port terminal.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the project seeks to increase arrival of large cargo ships and reduce the waiting time at the port’s outer anchorage and ultimately double government revenue from the county’s principal port.
“The move is part of efforts to increase the port’s annual handling capacity from the current 14 million tonnes to some 28 million tonnes by 2022,” said Prof Mbarawa.
According to him, the expansion will also attract more business from landlocked countries which use the port, as their cargo will be easily transported through the Standard Gauge Railway whose construction is currently underway as well massive improvement of the railway owned by the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (.
According to Prof Mbarawa, once the port and railway projects are completed, Tanzania will provide better cargo handling services compared with those of its competitors.
“We have already removed VAT on goods in transit and our cargo trains will be travelling at a speed of 120 kilometre per hour compared with that of Kenya which moves at 80km/h,” he noted.
Earlier, in his welcoming note, TPA director general Deusdedit Kakoko said the expansion would enable the port to receive long ships which currently divert to neighbouring ports.
The government to implement various expansion and outsourcing projects to improve port efficiency.