MINISTER for Works and Transport, Dr Leonard Chamuriho on Monday asked the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to intensify supervision of the ongoing ports expansion projects for quality and timely completion.
Speaking during the ceremony to hand over berth number five at the Dar es Salaam port, Dr Chamuriho said there was a need for TPA to make a close follow up on the ongoing projects because the government has invested taxpayers' money with the purpose of improving services and revenues.
The construction of berth number five was completed and handed over. Two more berths are still under construction as the government continues with efforts to improve port services across the country.
"The government has invested nearly 1tri/- for expanding ports across the country. TPA must ensure all these projects are completed on time, and the contractors must observe all standards and quality as stipulated in contracts," he noted.
The minister also witnessed the docking of a 180-metre long vessel at the newly launched berth number five.
He said Dar es Salaam port serves various countries and that it is one of the main sources of revenues for the country.
Earlier, TPA Director General Eng Deusdedith Kakoko told the minister that for the past five years, the government has invested in the expansion of major three ports namely Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara. He said the three ports are being reconstructed to expand their cargo handling capacity.
He informed the minister that the Dar es Salam port has so far been renovated from berths zero, one, two, three, four and five. He said the fifth one was a milestone in speeding up loading and unloading of cargo.
"I am happy to inform you today that berth number zero, one, two, three and four are now receiving Roll in Roll Out (RORO) cargo such as cars and others. This has actually transformed our ways of handling cargo here at the port," he noted.
The TPA boss said the completion of berths allows the docking of big vessels and that time for offloading and loading of cargo has been minimised from seven days to one day. He assured the minister that the remaining berths will be completed before July, this year.
The upgrading of the Dar es Salaam port is under the Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DMGP) that involves the construction of berth 1-7.
DMGP is set to improve the effectiveness and efficiency by converting the port as a world class port with optimised efficiency to accommodate the calling and reception of larger vessels.
Port modernisation projects include but not limited to strengthening and deepening of berths 1-7 and RORO terminal, dredging of entrance channel, turning circle and harbour basin, strengthening and deepening 8-11, and construction of a new terminal jet.
Dar es Salaam Port is the Tanzania principal port with a rated capacity of 4.1 million (dwt) dry cargo and 6.0 million (dwt) bulk liquid cargo.
The Port has a total quay length of about 2,600 metres with eleven deep-water berths. Dar es Salaam port handles about 95 per cent of the Tanzania international trade.
The Port serves the landlocked countries of Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
It is strategically placed to serve as a convenient freight linkage not only to and from East and Central Africa countries but also to the Middle and Far East, Europe, Australia and America.