Mozambique rejects commercial shipping in the Shire and Zambezi rivers

25 September 2015

Mozambique rejected the Malawi’s government’s intention to use the Chinde and Zambezi rivers for commercial shipping, announced the Minister of Transport and Communications of Mozambique, cited by Radio Mozambique.

Wednesday, representatives from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia met in Lilongwe to analyze the results of a study commissioned from independent consultants on the navigability of those two rivers.

Malawi intended to obtain authorization from Mozambique to start shipping in the two rivers for river transport of imports and exports to the port of Chinde in Zambezia province, a distance of 240 kilometers.

After the meeting, the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Mesquita said that the first major conclusion that the consultant arrived is that the Shire and Zambezi rivers are not commercially navigable in its natural form, and for that suggested the need to make a dredging about 1.5 meters in order to increase the depth.

“To make the initial dredging is necessary to spend about 18 million dollars, then they need more 30 million annually to ensure the maintenance dredging, another 50 million dollars to clean up the vegetation that surrounds the two rivers, beyond other costs of investments in port and operating infrastructure, “said Mesquita.

The consultant’s report also indicates that the steaming time in those two rivers will be just 36% per annum, ie the navigation is only possible in about four to five months, according to the daily newspaper Notícias.

In view of these findings, Carlos Mesquita said not make sense to consider the two rivers are navigable commercially or spend large sums, especially as the goods are insured for 2015/2016 do not exceed 250 000 tonnes.(macauhub/MZ)