Expansion of the Dar es Salaam Port under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) has reached 50 per cent.
The project is aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the port for the benefit of private and public stakeholders, raising the flow of cargo from around 20 million tonnes to 28 million tonnes annually.
In a 2014 report by the World Bank, inefficiencies at the port were costing Tanzania and its neighbors up to Tshs.5.9 trillion ($2.6 billion) a year. The project involves two components, including improving the physical infrastructure and institutional strengthening and implementation assistance. Project Manager Anastasia Seledi explained that the project was half way of its implementation in the wake of a good job done by the contractors, the Chinese Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC).
The project is being financed in part by the World Bank, which has contributed roughly Ths.805 billion ($350 million) in loans and grants, while the bulk of the remainder – approximately Tshs.161 billion ($70 million) – is being provided by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA). The UK`s department of International Development has also put forward grant assistance.
The port has seen rising traffic over the past five years between 2011 and 2016. The pressure of the increased traffic put on the port`s infrastructure and intermodal connections is particularly notable, given that it currently handles roughly 95 per cent of Tanzania`s external trade. Dar port`s capacity outstrips that of the country`s next two largest ports, Tanga and Mtwara which when combined can handle one million tonnes annually.
In order to improve the port`s operational efficiency, donor funded trade initiative Trademark East Africa is providing the TPA with technical support in the rehabilitation of access roads to help reduce traffic congestion. Miss Seledi said the project is expected to be completed in 2016, with construction works currently being in first phase. The first phase involves deepening of the berths number one to seven to enable large vessels to dock as opposed to the current situation.
Dar Port is the main rival of the bigger, but also congested Mombasa Port in Kenya. It acts as a trade gateway for landlocked African states such as Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, and Uganda as well as the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).