- The government says it has extended the contract by three months to allow finalisation of negotiations between parties
Dar es Salaam. The government has extended the contract for the Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (Ticts) by three months as the two parties continue with negotiations on the way forward, The Citizen has learned.
Ticts, the only private investor offering container terminal services at the Dar es Salaam port, had its contract expired last month (September).
Ministry of Works and Transport permanent secretary (Transport docket) Gabriel Migire told The Citizen yesterday that the contract for Ticts -- which operates container terminals at berth eight to 11 -- was extended to December.
“Our talks with Ticts have not come to an end. We have given them a three-month extension as we continue with negotiations on their offer,” he revealed.
Mr Migire said in efforts to increase efficiency at the Dar port, the government will find an investor to operate berths five (5) to seven (7) by the end of the current financial year (2022/23).
“We are still seeking a prospective investor,” Mr Migire replied to a question on whether the government had already identified an investor to offer container terminal services at the Dar es Salaam port’s berths five to seven.
In August, the government said a number of investors had shown interest in offering the services at berths five to seven.
Although he did not disclose the names of the investors interested in operating the berths, The Citizen is aware that Abu Dhabi Ports PSJC (AD Ports Group) and India’s largest integrated ports and Logistics Company, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd are among those that have shown interest in the ventures.
Currently, according to port stakeholders, Ticts handles about two thirds of containerlised cargo at the Dar port, with the rest being handled by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) which operates berth five. This suggests that the seeking of investors to operate berth five to seven, TPA plans to leave containerlised cargo to the private sector and concentrate on regulatory matters as well as handling motor vehicles and other conventional cargo which are handled at berth zero to four.
This again suggests that the operator at berth eight to 11, who is currently Ticts, will now have a competitor, though operating at different berths.
If things go as they are, it will be good news for port stakeholders because in the recent past they have been for long calling for the government to leave business to private investors and mostly concentrate on regulatory matters.
Speaking to The Citizen early August, Tanzania Shipping Agents Association (Tasaa) vice chairman Daniel Malongo welcomed competition in the industry, saying it would help raise the Dar port’s efficiency.
He said the move was expected to challenge the current operator, who is Ticts, to do even better by raising standards even more.
Politician cum economist Zitto Kabwe said in August that there might be an international tender so that the country could get the best.
Responding to the question on the need for floating an international tender, PS Migire said the law gives the government a variety of options.
“When the time comes we will decide whether to announce the tender or go for a restricted tendering approach,” he noted.
He said a team of experts was conducting due diligence on companies before the starting of the procurement process.