Maputo — The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday signed an agreement to disburse the equivalent of 84 million US dollars for the first phase of the development of the northern Mozambican port of Nacala.
The loan agreement was signed by Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang and by the resident representative of JICA, Ryuichi Nasu.
This follows the agreement of principles on the loan that was signed on Monday between Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Koloma and Japanese ambassador Eiji Hashimoto.
Chang announced that the money takes the form of a soft loan, with a minimal interest rate, and is to be repaid over 40 years, including a ten year period of grace.
No major work has been undertaken on Nacala port for 40 years, and Chang said the entire development project is budgeted at 115.55 million dollars.
The Japanese loan, he explained, is to be spent on a new, one kilometre access road to the port, with electronically operated gates, a widening of the port access gate, a rail container terminal within the port, improvement of the existing container area and the acquisition of new cargo handling equipment.
Nasu said that the improvements will guarantee an increase in cargo handling capacity. “When this project is implemented, the annual volume of cargo handled will increase from the present 1.6 million tonnes to 4.7 million tonnes”, he claimed.