THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) will spend about 18bn/- next month to procure three barges with a capacity of carrying 3,500 tons to increase efficiency in cargo handling at Tanga Port.
The barges are floating objects used in ferrying cargos from where the vessel anchor off up to the garter, taking into account that Tanga is a light-range port.
The Tanga Port's Operations Manager Halifa Mkwizu told a special seminar on the port's operations for journalists here that TPA is determined to improve services at the port to meet customer expectations and needs. He said the barges, which are made in China, are expected in the country next month and that TPA solely met their costs.
"We have not obtained loan or any financial assistance from anywhere. TPA itself has disbursed own funds to implement the programme that aims at improving its ports, including Tanga Port, which is one of the best ports in the Great Lakes Region,' the port manager said.
He added that the port played an important and key role not only in handling in-country cargo, but was now serving transit ones hence the urgent need to fast-track the improvement programme to enhance its cargo handling capacity.
Mr Mkwizu said apart from buying the three barges, the port has carried out some port maintenance work, including improvement of the pavement and equipment like mobile cranes, forklifts, bale clamps, terminal tractors, terminal trailers, front loaders, towing tugs and tower cranes.
The port has 35,000 square meters of paved yard for containers and general cargo. In another presentation, Master Captain Andrew Matillya said that the port was safe for vessels, cargo and people as they have always been taking appropriate safety measures.
'We have good and enough experts in all departments that is why things here are going on well. Safety is priority number one as it is a criterion to attract customers. Security here is excellent and we have not registered any act of crime.
We are in a good position as far as security and safety measures are concerned...I want to assure this to our customers," he said. Tanga is the second largest port in thee countries after Dar port, with the capacity of handling more than 500,000 tons per year.