Maputo, Mozambique, 29 Aug – The amount of cargo handled at the port of Maputo between January and July of 2011 totalled 6.4 million tons, which was a real year-on-year rise of 1.6 million tons or 33 percent, said the port’s managers.
According to Mozambican newspaper Notícias, the volume of cargo increased after dredging at the port had been finished, in mid-January, allowing ships with a draught of up to 12 metres to access the port.
Citing figures from the port management company, in the period the port of Maputo received a total of 597 cargo ships, which was 32 more than in the same period of 2010.
The company source noted that, in fact, the number of ships was falling from month to month as increasingly larger ships were entering the port, with a lot more cargo in a single shipment.
The rise in cargo handled was mainly due to minerals transported in bulk, such as iron ore, coal and magnetite.
Costing US$20 million, dredging of the Port of Maputo ended in mid-January 2011, after removal of 2.1 million cubic metres of sediment, 46,500 of which were rocks.
The material removed during dredging was used to fill in areas where new facilities are planned to be built as part of the development and expansion of the port.
In mid-2010 the Mozambican government approved an extension of the port’s concession contract for an additional 15-year period, starting in 2018, in order to allow the concession-holding company – MPDC – to make additional investments totalling some US$700 million, mainly focused on improving and expanding the port’s facilities. (macauhub)