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Mozambique: Maputo Port Hits New RecordMonday, December 15, 2014 > 11:27:04
Maputo port expects to handle about 19 million tonnes of cargo this year, which is a new record, according to the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) which holds the lease on operating the port.
The figure is an increase of around ten per cent on the figure for 2014, when the port handled 17.3 million tonnes.
Speaking in Maputo on Wednesday, when presenting the company's 2014 report, MPDC Executive Director Osorio Lucas said that the increase in cargo handled this year was due to investment in port improvements and expansion, sub-leases and dredging, the cost of which was estimated at 35 million dollars.
Lucas added that with capacity now installed in the port for handling ferro-chrome, the amount of cargo could rise still further.
Among the main goods handled by Maputo Port are coal, chrome, iron ore, vehicles, and grain. Lucas said that in recent years the volume of minerals handled (mostly from South Africa) has risen considerably when compared with containerized cargo. Indeed, of the 19 million tonnes handled this year, 13 million are minerals.
But Lucas declined to reveal the MPDC financial results, on the grounds that an internal audit is still under way.
“We cannot give a figure for our total profits this year, otherwise we would be breaking the rules, but in due time we shall announce the figures”, Lucas promised. But he added that he expected net gains to rise “a little” when compared with the figure for 2013 of 20 million dollars in profit.
Lucas said that 2014 was dedicated to expanding and renovating the port, citing as examples the conclusion of the vehicle terminal, the paving of areas beside the warehouses, and the start to rehabilitating the paving of the container terminal.
Maintenance dredging is currently underway at the quays, to remove about 27,000 cubic metres of sediment and restore the water depth at the quays to its original levels. The dredging should be concluded by the end of this month.
Lucas pointed out that when the government handed the port over to private management in 2001, it was only handling about four million tonnes of cargo a year.
He said that the great challenge facing the port now is environmental, “due to the type of cargo it is handling. We are updating the environmental plan and introducing measures to mitigate the impact of dust”.
“We think the development of the port should not be at the expense of the environment”, said Lucas.