The Mozambican government announced recently that it intends to invest US$290 million in the expansion and modernisation of the Port of Beira, in Sofala province, one of Mozambique’s most important ports, which serves other countries in the region.
“The government has approved the Port of Beira Business Plan, in which investment of up to US$290 million (€276 million) is planned over the next 15 years for the expansion and modernisation of the Port of Beira, depending on market conditions,” said Mateus Magala, Mozambique’s minister for transport and communications.
The minister, who was speaking at the opening of the business forum for the Beira Corridor, which took place in that city, also said that the studies already carried out point to an exponential increase in the volume of containers handled at this port, around 300%, over the next two decades.
As a result of these investments, container handling capacity will rise from the current 300,000 to 700,000 containers per year, among other improvements, such as increased capacity for handling general cargo, storage, access and others.
“Recognising the efforts underway and the growing demand, we challenge Cornelder de Mozambique [the consortium that manages the port and railway line] to continue with the planned investments, which should reach the milestone of handling more than one million containers, as a way of repositioning the Port of Beira at international levels with more significant absolute volumes,” said Minister Magala.
Therefore, argued Mateus Magala, investment in the expansion and modernisation of the Port of Beira will make it possible to accelerate the socio-economic growth of the central region, as well as fulfilling the objective of making Mozambique a logistics solutions provider for the countries of southern Africa.
According to the Mozambican minister, the government is aware that the port operator does not act in isolation and says that its full operation depends on the good performance of other players, such as road and rail transport, shipping lines, maritime services, logistics services, agencies, customs brokers and other players.
“With this in mind, the government has been mobilising resources for the integrated development of the Beira Corridor, such as the recent investments made in dredging the port access channel, rehabilitating national road number 6, rebuilding the Machipanda railway line, among other investments,” he said.
The 318-kilometre Machipanda line connects the port of Beira, in central Mozambique, to Zimbabwe, a country that depends on this route for access to the sea to export its produce.
In addition to expanding and modernising infrastructure, the Mozambican government’s vision is to implement reforms that will allow the transport corridors to be transformed from mere transit routes for goods into a space for economic development, promoting industrialisation, agriculture, trade and other activities.
“They must generate concrete development opportunities for economic agents and improve the lives of our people, which can generate quality employment and income for national and regional development,” concluded Mateus Magala