Tanzania has signed a $154m deal with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company to expand the main port in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The East African state hopes that under the contract, funded by a World Bank loan, it can transform the country into a regional transport and trade hub and compete with Mombasa in Kenya.
CHEC, a subsidiary of the state-run China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will build a roll-on, roll-off terminal and deepen and strengthen seven berths at Dar es Salaam port.
The port is set to increase container capacity to 28m tonnes a year by 2020, from the current 14m tonnes. In the second phase of the expansion water levels will be deepened to 15.5 metres at the port.
“Deepening and strengthening of the berths will allow big container ships to dock in Dar es Salaam. All these efforts are being done in order to increase competitiveness of the port,” works, transport and communications minister Makame Mbarawa said.
He said during negotiations the contractor agreed to reduce its price and completion times.
East Africa’s second-biggest economy aims to exploit its long coastline so that it can serve the growing economies in the land-locked heart of Africa.
Mbarawa added that the country would build a railway with trains capable of travelling at 120kmh, which will cut journey time from the port to Kigali, Rwanda from 23hrs to 13hrs.
Tanzania announced in January that the World Bank had made a $305m loan to help it expand its main port and reduce congestion and inefficiencies.
Meanwhile, Djibouti has also opened a new port in a bid to take on more regional trade.
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