Extensive infrastructure upgrades contributed to the 8% growth in cargo handling at the Port of Maputo in Mozambique in 2019.
According to a statement by the port, it handled 21 million tonnes last year, surpassing its 2018 record. The 8% increase was mainly due to chrome and magnetite handling and a substantial growth in container traffic.
After completing its container terminal expansion project, the port handled 162,000 teu in 2018, an increase of 53%, while new equipment – including two new mobile harbour cranes, payloaders, tractors, and rail excavators – played a role in the 2019 bulk cargo handling results.
More growth and increased cargo handling efficiency is expected this year when the port completes its berth rehabilitation project. The first phase will be delivered in May and the second in July. The project will improve the occupancy rate of berths by creating a larger mooring area.
Other improvement projects included maintenance dredging operations along the port’s access channels, which started in October 2019 and aimed to remove about 1.5 million cubic metres of material from the Matola, Katembe, Polana, Xefina and Northern waterways in four months.
A trailing suction hopper dredger with hopper storage capacity of 4.40 cubic metres, the Francesco de Giorgio, was used for smooth and semi-hard ground operations to a maximum depth of 28 metres. The Henri Pitot, a water injection dredger, was used for deep levelling operations on soft and semi-hard ground to a maximum depth of 27 metres.
The port has included a youth development component to its upgrade programmes by providing work experience opportunities for engineering students. They are actively involved in the berth rehabilitation project and the maintenance channel dredging.
Moreover, the Port of Maputo collaborated with Mozambican rail company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique and South African rail company Transnet Freight Rail, which improved the port’s handling efficiency and provided a balance between road and rail.