South Africans invest in Maputo port, Mozambique

25 June 2007

Johannesburg, South Africa, 25 June – South African company Grindrod has announced it plans to invest some US$80 million in the port of Maputo, which will make it possible to substantially increase the capacity of the port’s coal and car terminals.

Grindrod, which owns 95 percent of the coal terminal and 12 percent of Maputo Port overall, has focused on the Mozambican capital to relive congestion of several types of goods in several South African ports.

The Maputo coal terminal is expected to have a capacity of 1 million tons per year after work as been concluded, in December, although the plans also include doubling that volume over the next few years.

In terms of the vehicle terminal, this will be equipped to handle 63,000 vehicles per year, which could be increased to 250,000 per year if necessary, said Dave Rennie, the executive director of Grindrod.

Rennie noted that the ferrochromium terminal’s capacity had been recently increased to 1.3 million tons per year.

Despite substantial investments made in several South African ports over the last few years and others which are still underway, some port facilities are a breaking point, which could lead operators to use Maputo’s port as an alternative to serve the South African and regional market.

One of the great advantages of Maputo is that it is closer to the province of Gauteng (where Johannesburg and Pretoria are located), which is the economic and political capital of South Africa.

The Durban vehicle terminal, for example, recently received investment of 100 million rand in 1004 and last year processed 289,000 vehicles, while the ports of Port Elizabeth and east London have a capacity for 95,000 units per year.

An increase in the export capacity of the South African automotive industry has put great pressure on port operators, which puts the port of Maputo in a good position to benefit from favorable conditions. (macauhub)