Maputo port brings on third tug

Maputo port brings on third tug

August 18, 2023

The Port of Maputo this week kicked off its 120th anniversary celebrations with the inauguration of its newest tug.

With a 75-ton bollard pull, the newly commissioned tugboat, named Ntamo, joins the port’s fleet as the third vessel of its kind, adding muscle to the port’s operational capabilities and elevating its competitive edge.

Speaking in Maputo, Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi said that with its rail-port design, the Port of Maputo remained an important economic asset, with some $800 million invested in the infrastructure.

The first jetty was constructed in 1890, followed by the inauguration of the Gorjão jetty in August 1903. It operated as the Port of Lourenço Marques for many years until the current concession 20 years ago. For the most part, the construction of the port was closely linked to the railways in the region, primarily driven by the discovery of mineral resources in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

“The objectives of rail-port operations have always taken into account three aspects: safe operations, efficiency and economic aspects, measured by the ratio of return on invested capital,” said Nyusi. “During the 1990s, particularly after the General Peace Agreement and the fall of the racist regime in South Africa, the need to rebuild the Mozambican rail-port system became obvious. It had to be modernised, competitive, efficient, market-oriented and financially viable. The government’s vision and strategic decision to involve the private sector in rehabilitating the main national ports was fundamental to revitalising their operations and leveraging their potential.”

He said that in the case of the Port of Maputo, 20 years on, the results of this partnership were now clear to see.

“The investments, carried out continuously by the MPDC, guarantee not only safety and operational efficiency but also place the Port of Maputo among the most competitive in the region. The knowledge and capital brought in by the concession have enabled a leap in cargo handling capacity – from five million in 2003 to 27m tons in 2022.

Nyuni singled out ongoing investment in young national human capital and the modernisation of the IT system to digitise processes.

He said the financial viability of the port continued to be justified by the growing transit volumes from neighbouring countries.

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