Dar es Salaam. The government spends an average of $250 million (Sh575 billion) each year to enhance capacity of six major ports to support development and industrial growth.
The ports include Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mtwara, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa.
This was revealed yesterday by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) director general Deusdedit Kakoko during the 4th Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Industrialisation Week.
During his presentation on opportunities and challenges for ports financing, Mr Kakoko said expansion of port capacity should always be in line with the expansion of the inter-modal infrastructure.
“Success of the port depends much on collaboration among member states and port stakeholders---port operators, government agencies, shipping agents and clearing and forwarding agents,” said Mr Kakoko.
He said funding large infrastructure investments in greenfield port projects is more risky because of complicated factors such as the large proportion of necessary equity contributions due to the high risk associated with long construction and payback period.
“The continuing risks associated with operations such as refusal of requests for tariff adjustments, changes in tax policy, or introduction of new handling techniques that make existing facilities obsolete,” he noted.
He said in near future all major investments projects in Tanzania will be public financing-oriented.
“But all again we should understand public sector cannot do it alone, but rather in collaboration with private sector,” he asserted.
Citing an example of railways and port storage issues like inland container depots, Mr Kakoko, said it is high time private sector was invited to invest into.
He mentioned other opportunities for investments as basic port infrastructure for the provision of transport-related port services, such as berths used for the monitoring of ship, quay walls, jetties, and floating pontoon ramps in tidal areas, internal basins, backfills and land reclamation.
Also in the list are equipment and superstructure---surface arrangements such as for storage, fix equipment such as warehouses and terminal buildings, as well as mobile equipment such as cranes located in a port for the provision of transport related services.
Others are energy- related infrastructure, road and rail transport connections from port to main line---from maritime terminals in ports to the main network and ICT or rather digital infrastructure for efficient port, secured port and hinterland operations.
“Private sector for experience is good at mobilizing resources when it comes to investment on huge projects and this will help in boosting of trade,” he said.
“Marine transport accounts for 80 per cent of global trading. Goods are carried out by sea and handled by ports.”
Mr Kakoko said financing ports infrastructure in regional integration was grappling with lack of common policies and legislations among member states within the region, lack of integrated inter modal systems and unaligned stakeholder interests, needs and strategies.
Mr Kakoko said, the investment has increased efficiency in cargo clearance.
“Investment in ICT for instance, has made us more cost effective in our services to users of our ports including other countries from Africa,” he noted.
Landlocked countries including Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda, as well and DRC Congo use the Dar es Salaam port.
Last month Works, Transport and Communication minister Isack Kamwelwe said with the expansion in of Dar es Salaam port, its capacity will double to handling 6,000 containers.