MOZAMBIQUE – The government of Mozambique has officially inaugurated the new Beira fishing port in the Mozambican central province of Sofala, a project financed by a US$120 million loan from the Chinese government.

The original fishing port was wrecked in the cyclone Eline in early 2000.

Its reconstruction and rehabilitation began in mid-2017 by the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) who provisionally handed it over to the government on 1 November 2018.

Since then it has been operating on an experimental basis after it received an operating licence from the National Fisheries Institute.

In March the port sustained limited damages, affected by Cyclone IDAI but was prepared for the harsh weather conditions.

The newly installed fishing port’s dock is 377 metres long, compared with the previous 188 metres, which allows 16 industrial vessels to be moored simultaneously, against the eight vessels before.

It also has six cold stores, an ice factory with a capacity of producing 60 tonnes of ice a day to preserve fisheries produce.

It also has a fish processing room with a capacity of 50 tonnes per day, a handling capacity of 700,000 tonnes per year which is a boost from the former 300 tonnes of fisheries produce a year.

These improvements have turned the infrastructure into the largest and most modern facility of its kind in the country and the SADC region.

The director of the Port of Beira management company, Carlos Calenga, told Mozambican newspaper Notícias that as the fishing dock has started operating again, exports of tuna caught in the Sofala bank, which are currently sent by road to South Africa and also by sea to the United States of America, Japan, Spain and Portugal, can begin again.

Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragendra de Sousa said, “Large ships and also cargo planes will stop at Beira to transport our fisheries produce.”

He noted that in September last year a business delegation from Thailand had visited the port and had promised that Thai companies will invest in Beira.