3 January 2013

Zambia: Mpulungu Harbour Handles Over 120,000 Tons of Cargo

MPULUNGU Harbour Corporation Limited handled more than 120,000 tonnes of cargo from March to December last year.

In an interview in Lusaka, Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited acting port manager Anthony Sichivula said the firm handled cargo weighing 126,000 tonnes from March 2012 to December from Zambia to the Great Lakes Region.

In the six months running from April to September last year, the harbour recorded a turnover of about K4.6 billion which was higher than the initial target of K4.3 billion.

From April to December 2010, the harbour handled 105,305 tonnes of cargo compared to 93,929 tonnes for the same period in 2011.

"We have exported into Burundi, Rwanda Tanzania and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) cargo worth 126,000 tonnes from March 2012 to-date and the figure might even go up because our financial year ends in March 2013 so I cannot say it is drop from last year as the figures are still growing," Mr Sichivula said.

He explained that from March 2011 to March 2012 the company handled cargo amounting to 140,000 tonnes.

He said Lafarge Cement, Zambia Sugar, Zambezi Portland and Kafue Steel are some of the regular users of the port to the East African market.

Mr Sichivula said the port had the capacity to handle cement export of up to 1,000 tonnes per day and 800 tonnes of sugar but was not operating on full capacity.

Recent figures from the company indicate that Cement exports to Burundi and Rwanda accounts for more than 60 per cent of the total cargo handled by Mpulungu Harbour while, sugar accounts for about 25 per cent, with 15 per cent for other commodities.

In the last four months, exports of cement declined from 60 per cent to 30 per cent due to the high demand for the commodity on the local market.

The situation contributed to the decline in the overall volume of cargo being handled by the port.

Sugar exports had gone up from 25 per cent to 53 per cent in the last three months which was destined for the region.

About 4,000 tonnes of steel and 15,000 tonnes of cement were destined for Burundi.

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