Mozambique Port of Maputo saw its total volumes surge by 22% in 2017 as the port moves toward welcoming even larger vessels.
The port handled a total of 18.2 million tonnes of cargo during the year, against 14.9 million tonnes seen in 2016, while the number of vessel calls dropped from 955 to 896 in 2017. However, although the port received 59 less ships calls, it saw 3.3 million of cargo more than a year before.
The rise was mainly attributed to the completion of an access channel dredging project in January 2017, allowing for larger vessels to sail to the port.
Before the dredging project, with the channel at -11 meters chart datum, the maximum sailing draft of the vessels in Maputo and Matola was on average 12.20 meters and the maximum parcel size varied between 50,000 and 55,000 tonnes.
“The dredging resulted in an increase of 40% to the average parcel size for Maputo Main Port and a 55% increase for Matola,” Osório Lucas, CEO, said.
Maputo is now preparing to receive vessels of even greater drafts, with the upgrades to berths 6, 7, 8 and 9, scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2018.
In July 2017, the Matola Coal Terminal (TCM) inaugurated the rehabilitation of its berth, which included deepening to -15.4 meters below chart datum along the quayside. TCM has thus become the port’s first terminal to take full advantage of the dredging initiative, allowing fully-ladden Panamax vessels of up to 275 meters long, 14.5 meters of draft on neap tides and 15.5 meters on spring tides.
In 2017, the DP World Maputo Container Terminal also began its expansion works from 150.000 TEUs to 250.000 TEUs, scheduled for completion at the end of January 2018.
“This is a major project and marks the last major steps defined by the Masterplan for the Port of Maputo. The rehabilitation will not only create berths with a depth of up to -15 meters below chart datum, but will improve the berth occupation rate through the creation of a bigger and deeper mooring area,” Lucas explained.