Maputo, Mozambique, 27 Sep – The Mozambican government has approved a decree setting up a state reserved area in the Techobanine region in Matutuine district of Maputo province, where a deepwater port will be built, reports the Maputo-based state newspaper Noticias.
The deepwater port has a planned overall investment of US$7 billion and was initially planned for the Dobela region, one of the headlands characterising the coast in the Matutuine district.
The project was later shifted from Dobela to Techobanine for reasons linked to water depth off the new site, which will not require regular dredging to keep the channel open for very large ships.
The recent discovery of substantial reserves of quality coal in Botswana is another factor stimulating construction of the port, ensuring a market. The port of Maputo is acknowledged to be unable by itself to handle coal production from that country.
The public company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) has argued that the high volumes of cargo expected will require the use of very large ship to transport same. The port of Maputo does not have the means to receive such vessels.
According to plans, work on building the new port’s infrastructures should be carried out between 2012 and 2015, occupying an area of 30,000 hectares, 11,000 of which will be used to install industrial units.
The state reserved area confirmed by the Council of Ministers includes the area where access routes should be built, specifically the roads and railways to be used by vehicles and trains serving the port.
The new port will be able to handle nearly 200 million tonnes of varied cargo per year, well above Maputo, whose capacity is less than 20 million tonnes per year.
The port project has been discussed since colonial times, though it only came back into focus in 1999 when an agreement was signed by the government, the Isle of Man incorporated company Porto Dobela Development and Mozambique’s CFM ports and railways company, setting out the basic principles for undertaking the project. (macauhub)