𝗗𝗮𝗿 𝗲𝘀 𝗦𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗮𝗺 𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽𝘀. Tanzania’s main port of Dar es Salaam has completed major dredging work to deepen and widen the approach channel and turning basin, which will now allow bigger ships to dock at the port. The new milestone will reinforce Dar es Salaam port’s position as an important Indian Ocean gateway and potentially help to lower the cost per container for cargo owners, thus reducing the expense of importing and exporting goods.
Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) announced new water depths at the Dar es Salaam port on Wednesday this week, saying the depth of the main approach channel has been increased to 15.5 metres below chart datum (CD), with an average channel width of 200 metres. “What this means is that the Dar es Salaam port can now handle large post-Panamax II vessels, with 8,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) capacity,”  “Previously, the port could only handle fully cellular ships, with a capacity of carrying up to 2,500 containers.” TPA said the turning basin at the Dar es Salaam port has been widened to a diameter of 520 metres, with a water depth of 15.5 metres CD.
The harbour basin and berths 1 to 7 have been dredged to 14.5 metres CD, while berths 8 to 11 (the container terminal) and the roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) berth have been dredged to 12.5 metres CD. “In view of the above, the Dar es Salaam port can now handle vessels with a LOA (overall length) of 294 metres, a beam of 32 metres and a draft of 13.5 metres without any tide restrictions,” TPA said. Similarly, the port can also now serve vessels with an overall length of 305 metres, a beam of 40 metres and a draft of 14.5 metres under restricted tidal conditions at berths 1 to 7.
The port of Mombasa in neighbouring Kenya is also set for fresh dredging as it steps up it’s rivalry with the Dar es Salaam port. Comparatively, the main access channel to Mombasa port was dredged in 2012 to a depth of 15 metres and a width of 300 metres. Mombasa port can currently handle ships with a maximum length of 300 metres. President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s government is keen to transform Dar es Salaam port from a feeder port into a regional transit hub.
Apart from the dredging work and upgrading of other port infrastructure, the government has signed a concession agreement with global ports giant DP World to operate some of the berths at the Dar es Salaam port to bring world-class efficiency to the country’s main gateway. DP World will likely start its operations at the Dar es Salaam port in the first half of next year, with the government hoping that the expected improvement in efficiency will shift more business to the gateway and boost revenues.

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