The largest ship ever to dock in any Mozambican port arrived in Maputo on Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), received by AIM on Thursday.
The ship is the “Golden Kathrine”, a bulk carrier registered in Hong Kong, which is 292 metres long with a gross weight of 93,237 tonnes. It can carry a bulk cargo of 80,000 tonnes. It is a modern ship, built in 2015. Its previous port of call was Longkou, China.
The ship is owned by the Golden Ocean Group, a bulk shipping company based in Bermuda, which owns a fleet of 70 vessels.
It was only possible for such a large ship to dock in Maputo because of the dredging of the port access channel undertaken by MPDC. In 2010-2011 the channel was deepened from 9.4 to 11 metres, which contributed to increasing the volume of cargo passing though the port from 12 million tonnes in 2011 to 19 million in 2014.
Now MPDC plans further dredging as from May which will deepen the channel to 14.2 metres. The task will be undertaken by the international dredging company, Jan de Nul, based in Luxemburg, and will take ten months.
When this dredging is complete, says the MPDC release, ships the size of the “Golden Kathrine” will become “a normal sight in the Bay of Maputo”.
The dredging will cost 115 million US dollars. MPDC says it will make Maputo Port “more competitive on the regional and international markets”.
MPDC has held the lease on Maputo Port since 2003.
It is a consortium between the publicly owned ports and rail company CFM (which holds 49 per cent of the shares), and the private investor Portus Indico, in which the main shareholders are DP World of Dubai and the South African company Grindrod.