In a bid to transform the country into a regional transport and trade hub, Tanzania has signed a US$154 million contract with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to expand the main port in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
CHEC will build a roll-on, roll-off terminal and deepen and strengthen seven berths at Dar es Salaam port. This will allow big container ships to dock in Dar es Salaam and increase competitiveness of the port. This expansion will increase container output to 28 million tonnes a year by 2020 from around 20 million tonnes currently.
Tanzania’s investment efforts are to profit from its long coastline and upgrade transport infrastructure to serve growing economies in the land-locked heart of Africa.
The port acts as a trade gateway for landlocked African states such as Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi and Uganda, as well as the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tanzania said it will receive a $305 million loan from the World Bank to expand its main port, where congestion and inefficiencies are hampering service delivery.
The World Bank said in a 2014 report that inefficiencies at Dar es Salaam port cost Tanzania and its neighbors up to $2.6 billion a year.