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Nacala Port Expects to be Competitive by 2023

Nacala Port Expects to be Competitive by 2023

The project to rehabilitate, expand and modernise the port of Nacala is scheduled to be concluded in April next year, and from that time onwards the port is expected to be a preferred destination for cargo ships, despite the existence of the port of Dar es Salaam, which is more competitive.

According to information from “O País”, the Nacala Port returned to Government management in 2020, after 15 years of concession to the company Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte, and since 2014 rehabilitation work has begun, but in the first phase it was emergency work. The public company Portos e Caminhos-de-Ferro de Moçambique thus controls the ports of Pemba, in Cabo Delgado, and Nacala, in Nampula, in northern Mozambique.

The feasibility study done before 2014 showed that that port infrastructure was not a destination for many ships sailing the Indian Ocean waters, due to limitations such as lack of space to berth several ships simultaneously, as well as lack of cranes for loading and unloading ships.

O País” reports that it was through funding from Japan that the rehabilitation, expansion and modernisation project entered the second phase, in 2018, and should transform the Port of Nacala into a preferred destination for maritime traffic as of April 2023, with the great advantage of having deep waters that go as deep as 14 metres, allowing ships with large drafts to dock.

“We will have a modern port. Today we are in the order of 100 thousand TEUS/year and we will move to above 250 TEUS. It’s going to be a port where ships don’t have long waiting time; the container storage system is going to be fast. Now, container handling to the car park is around 10 containers per hour and we will increase it to 25 containers per hour,” said civil engineer Edgar Jorge, director of the Port of Nacala rehabilitation project.

Jorge, pointed out that this will be a port with cutting-edge technology, a properly controlled breakdown system, and will attract ships and other shipping lines to dock at the port.

In 2021, the port of Nacala contributed 80% of the tax revenue collected by the Tax Authority in Nampula province (the main financial and economic centre in the north).

Currently, the Port of Nacala serves as an outlet terminal for goods circulating through the Nacala Corridor, comprising a 912 km line, connecting Mozambique with neighbouring landlocked countries, with particular emphasis on Malawi and Zambia. It plays an important role in national logistics because it connects the provinces of Tete, Nampula and Niassa.

However, even with the shock caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the present shows a lot of resilience. “For the case of ENI in Area 4 in the installation of the six wells, we had a contribution here because we received what are called Christmas trees’, which are part of the wells; they were stored and the final tests were done here and then loaded to the area where they were installed,” exemplified Nelmo Induna, director of the port, quoted by O País.

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“From 2020 to 2021 there was a reduction by 9% in terms of TEUS handled, while general cargo, in this case, had an increase of more than 50%. So we handled 150% compared to what was predicted in 2021. For this reason, although we had this reduction in containers, overall there was a growth of around 14%,” concludes Induna.

When it comes to imports, the cargoes traditionally handled in Nacala are clinker, the main raw material for cement production, wheat, fertilisers and rice, not forgetting fuel and vegetable oil.

In exports, agricultural products are the main commodity, with a trend towards iron minerals.


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