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Port of Beira’s Largest Dredger Back in Operation After Seven Years Out of Action 

Port of Beira’s Largest Dredger Back in Operation After Seven Years Out of Action 

The largest dredging vessel has returned to the Port of Beira, in Sofala province, in the center of the country, after seven years of repair in South Africa, as a result of a breakdown caused by a collision with a cargo ship flying the Panamanian flag, an accident that caused extensive material damage.

According to the CEO of the Mozambican Dredging Company (Emodraga), Domingos Bié, the investigations carried out at the time pointed to bad weather as the cause of the accident, associated with a lack of visibility on the high seas.

Bié said that the return of the dredger represents a gain for the company, taking into account its capacity, since before the breakdown it ensured 80% of its activities.

“The return of the vessel is a great relief. It’s the biggest dredger we have, it’s our main asset, it has double the capacity of the others and it will ensure an increase in production,” he said, quoted on Tuesday (23) by Lusa.

Domingos Bié pointed out that with the dredger out of operation, the company has had increased costs over the last few years, having had to rent another ship.

“One of the problems that caused the ship to remain in South Africa for seven years to be repaired was the dispute with the insurance company over technical issues, because no consensus was reached on the main faults, as well as the difficulties caused by the covid-19 pandemic, which paralyzed the process,” he described.

In March, the Mozambican Dredging Company reported that in 2023 it had achieved a record of removing around three million cubic meters of sediment from the access channel to the Port of Beira.

“We achieved the all-time record. We dredged around three million cubic meters last year. It’s a milestone, we’ve never done that before in Emodraga’s history. Last year was very good in terms of the volume of dredging in the port’s access channel, where we do the most business,” he said.

Bié stressed that the 2023 record was due to the amount of sediment that entered the port due to the rainfall in the region, and that the average annual volume of dredging is 2.5 million cubic meters.

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“Last year we did 2.8 million. This year we’ve reached a record,” said the source, adding that navigation at the Port of Beira is 24 hours a day, allowing the entry of large draft ships, the largest of which, at 266 meters long, called at the port in 2023.

Also in 2023, the government announced an investment of 290 million dollars in the expansion and modernization of the Port of Beira, highlighting it as one of the most important infrastructures in the country and in the southern African region.

“The Executive has approved the Port of Beira’s business plan, in which an investment of up to 290 million dollars is planned over the next 15 years for the expansion and modernization of the infrastructure,” said the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mateus Magala, at the time, according to whom, with the investment to be made, container handling capacity will rise from the current 300,000 to 700,000 per year, among other improvements.

“Recognizing the efforts underway and the growing demand, we challenge Cornelder de Moçambique [the consortium that manages the port and railway line] to continue with the planned investments, which should reach the milestone of handling more than one million containers as a way of repositioning the Port of Beira at the most significant international levels of absolute volumes,” he said.

“The investment in expansion and modernization will make it possible to accelerate the socio-economic growth of the Central region, as well as fulfilling the objective of making Mozambique a logistics solutions provider for the countries of Southern Africa,” he concluded.


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