The dredging of the access channel to the port of Maputo has allowed the port to receive a large ship, the MV Mineral Belgium, which is 289 metres long and 45 metres wide, according to a statement from the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC).
The statement said the ship, carrying 90,000 tonnes of ferro-chrome and chrome, left the port of Maputo on Thursday, which was only possible because of the deepening of the access channel from 11 metres to 14.2 metres at high tide.
Dredging of the Maputo port channel began in May this year and is scheduled for completion in January 2017. It is being carried out by Jan de Nul Dredging Middle East FZE, an international company that was awarded the project and is using three dredgers to complete it.
“The entire loading operation was based on mobile cranes, which were part of the investments made by MPDC in equipment that have increased productivity and also improved the competitiveness of the port, as the navigation lines can charter lower cost ships without cranes” the statement said.
The statement said that, along with dredging the channel, the port of Maputo has recently started providing bunkering services to all vessels berthed or in the anchorage zone. The service is offered based an agreement between the MPDC and Petromoc Bunkering and is part of a number of schemes to improve the services offered by the port, making it more competitive in regional and international markets.
The port of Maputo was handed over under concession by the government of Mozambique to MPDC in 2003 but gained new momentum in 2008 when South African group Grindrod and DP World, of the United Arab Emirates, acquired a majority stake in Portus Indico, the largest shareholder (51%) and sponsor of the project.