Maputo — The Japanese government is planning to provide about 232 million US dollars - 32 million as a grant and the rest as loans - for the rehabilitation of the northern Mozambican port of Nacala.
Speaking at a farewell dinner in his honour on Thursday night, the outgoing Japanese ambassador, Eiji Hashimoto, said this was currently still at the project stage, “but the initiative is making progress”.
The total cost of rehabilitating the Nacala deep water port is put at 300 million dollars. A funding agreement worth 84 million dollars was signed between the Mozambican and Japanese authorities in March. That month the rehabilitation work began, and completion is due in 2017.
The work includes rehabilitating the northern jetty, paving the container parking area, installing equipment to modernise fuel handling operations, and building a new rail terminal. The contract for work on the port has been awarded to the Japanese company Penta - Ocean Construction Co Ltd, and was signed in January,
Hashimoto, who is leaving the country next week, said he was pleased that during his tour of duty he was able to visit all of Mozambique's 11 province. But he paid special attention to Nampula province, where Nacala is located, and where JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) has been concentrating its investments.
“When I arrived, there were five Japanese companies operating in Mozambique”, he recalled. “Now the number has risen to 11, operating in various spheres of activity”.
Hashimoto said he was also “very happy” with the visit to Mozambique by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in January, which had resulted in a promise of 670 million dollars of aid for Mozambique, spread over five years.