The Tanzania Ports Authority signed a $154 million contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to expand the nation’s main port Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
The deal will see the construction of a ro-ro terminal as well as the deepening of seven existing berths to facilitate larger container ships.
Tanzania hopes to position itself as a regional trade hub and expects the expansion to increase cargo throughput from around 14 to 28 million tons a year by 2020. Plans for the port also include a modern railway with trains capable of 120 kilometers per hour.
Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Prof. Makame Mbarawa, said: "Today we begin to rewrite the history of the Port of Dar es Salaam.”
Earlier this year, Tanzania indicated it will receive a $305 million loan from the World Bank to expand the port, whose current inefficiencies cost the region up to $2.6 billion a year.