Mozambique’s Beira Port to be refurbished

27 March 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 27 March – Mozambique’s national railway and port company, Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) is to invest US$53 million on refurbishing the port at Beira, in Sofala province, the company’s president Rui Fonseca said Thursday in Maputo.

The work will be focused on dragging the port’s access channel, which is severely blocked, as well as providing it with appropriate navigation equipment to allow mooring at any time of day or night of large draft ships.

Speaking at the opening of the 10th meeting of the Council of company directors, Fonseca said that the company would buy a drag boat, new tugs and pilot boats, a project financed by Denmark.

During the meeting, Fonseca said that the company posted operating profit of US$15.5 million in 2005, although he added that last year’s accounts were still being audited.

Fonseca also said that in 2005, railway traffic in Mozambique had increased 6.6 percent to 4.06 million tons.

During the directors’ meeting Fonseca accused the companies that hold the concessions for operating Maputo’s port and the Nacala-Malawi railroad of not respecting their contracts, thus causing CFM to take a loss.

Maputo port is managed by a consortium led by British company Mersey Docks and Harbour Co.

Under the terms of the contract the consortium should pay a percentage of its gross revenues but the reality, Fonseca said, “Is that they already owe us US$10 million.”

In relation to the Nacala railroad, Fonseca said that CFM had had doubts about the concession-holder’s capabilities and said that the poor operation of that corridor prevented the economic development of the north of the country. (macauhub)