Mozambique: Work on Beira fishing port has no scheduled start date

11 December 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 11 Dec – The start of reconstruction work of the Beira fishing port in Mozambique is expected to begin later than initially outlined as the assessment of its cost showed serious errors, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

The initial evaluation carried out by an international consultancy pointed to restoration work on the port costing around US$20 million, but companies that have competed for the tender have concluded that the cost will be around five times higher, that is US$100 million.

Based on figures provided by the consultancy, a consortium made up of Bangladesh Consultant and Técnica, the Government, which already had guaranteed funding from the Arab Bank for the Economic development of Africa, scheduled a date for work to start this year, which is why it launched the tender for the work.

Speaking to the paper, the fisheries minister, Cadmiel Muthemba said he did not know when the work could start and added that everything depended on conversations the government was having with the Arab Bank.

The fact that the fishing port is not operating means that vessels have to use the commercial port, which does not have the conditions for unloading fish, for example.

The biggest constraint, however, is that the commercial port is expensive and has led to complaints from many fishing boat owners.

According to the minister, prices charged at commercial ports are far higher than those at fishing ports, as these are designed to promote fishing and, therefore tariffs are very low.

Muthemba said he believed that negotiations with the Arab Bank could be difficult saying that, “if the difference were 10, or 20 or 30 percent it would be easy, but in this case we are talking about a figure of four to five times more.” (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH