Maputo Port in focus

Thursday, June 2, 2011

US$ 225 million dollars was invested in Maputo and Matola Ports over the last 8 years and cargo handled has increased from 5 million tons in 2003 to predicted volumes of 12,6 million tons for this year. These figures were quoted by Jorge Ferraz, CEO Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) at a conference in Maputo yesterday. He went on to say that volumes handled are expected to double in the next 4 years and grow to about 50 million tons by 2030. Investment in equipment and infrastructure has made a significant contribution to the growth and it is expected that a further $750 million will be invested over the next 20 years. The vision and leadership of the Mozambican government as well as the alignment of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), CFM, Grindrod and DP World have all contributed to this success story. “We commend TFR on improved efficiencies. By sweating their assets they have managed to reduce turnaround time of the trains from 200 hours to 90 hours on the Maputo corridor”, said Dave Rennie, chairman of MPDC and CEO Grindrod Freight Services. This was the good news communicated at the 1st Maputo Port conference hosted by MPDC, in which CFM, Grindrod and DP World are shareholders. The objective of the conference was to share with all stakeholders the achievements and successes of the port since the concession was granted 8 years ago. In 2010 MPDC received an extension to its port concession to 2043, providing a timeline for the implementation of a Port Master Plan and for the sub-concessionaires to undertake additional investments. In his opening address, the Prime Minister of Mozambique, Aires Bonifácio Aly, highlighted the enormous opportunity for economic growth in Mozambique driven by the continued demand for commodities. Maputo provides an ideal corridor for the export market. His Excellency’s sentiments were echoed by the vice Minister of Planning and Development in her key note address. Infrastructure development is essential, as global economic growth is dependent on Africa’s commodities. The demand for commodities will continue to be driven by growth in China and India. MPDC and its sub-concessionaires have the capital, skills and experience to deliver on these demands. The Port Master Plan includes numerous projects. The first major capital project which was jointly undertaken by CFM, Grindrod and DP World was the dredging project and this was successfully completed in January of this year. Also part of the Port’s master plan is the development of Grindrod coal terminal (Terminal de Carvão da Matola). Phase 3 of this development which included the installation of a new ship loader and a new stacker / reclaimer was completed earlier this year. This recent expansion has increased the terminal’s capacity to 6 million tons per annum. The terminal has operated at full capacity since TFR’s upgrade to the rail infrastructure and since the improved efficiencies by TFR. Phase 4, which will expand the capacity to 20 million tons and more, is in feasibility planning stage. This will require excavation and land reclamation, the construction of 2 new berths, a stockyard and railway infrastructure. The final terminal footprint will be in the region of 120 hectares (excluding any reclaimed areas). Since rail infrastructure is a key aspect to the success of TCM and other terminals, Grindrod will continue to work closely with CFM and Transnet Freight Rail.. The Chairman of CFM, Rosario Mualeia, in his presentation to the delegates, said that CFM are fully committed to delivery of the master plan and are working together with the sponsors (Grindrod and DP World) to ensure its success. Mr Siyabonga Gama, the CEO of Transnet Freight Rail shared with the audience Transnet’s improved efficiencies, how this will further be rolled out, future expansion plans, as well as Transnet’s commitment to the development of the Maputo corridor. Alan Olivier, CEO of Grindrod Limited, said: “We believe that the demand to move cargo through the coal terminal will continue to grow and we are gearing up to accommodate this increased demand for capacity from both established and junior miners. We look forward to continued interaction with TFR and CFM, building on our relationship with the Mozambican Government and working together with all stakeholders to optimize trade through the port of Maputo.”

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