DP World Gets 25-Year Lease Extension at Mozambique's Port of Maputo

Port of Maputo
File image courtesy Grindrod Ltd.

Published Jan 28, 2024 11:53 PM by The Maritime Executive

Mozambique has approved an extra 25-year extension on the lease of the country’s main Port of Maputo to the operator consortium led by DP World and South Africa’s Grindrod Ltd. The group, which also includes Mozambique’s state-owned railway operator, is called Maputo Port Development Society (MPDC).

The port concession was initially scheduled to run until 2033 but will now expire in 2058 to allow further expansion of the port infrastructure, according to a statement by the Council of Ministers.

In line with this, the government also approved a $2 billion investment plan to cater for the port expansion. In the recent past, Maputo Port has seen an uptick in cargo handling, especially due to port and rail delays in neighboring South Africa.

During the last year, Maputo Port handled a record volume of 31 million tons of cargo, up more than 16 percent compared to 2022. Around 25 million tons constituted various ore exports, with a significant proportion coming from South Africa, where miners of chrome, coal and magnetite are choosing to use Maputo Port.

Under the new concession agreement, the capacity of the port is set to increase to 54 million tons per year by 2058, from the current 37 million tons. Priority will be in expanding Matola Coal Terminal next to Maputo, to 18 million tons per year, from 7.5 million tons. Extra storage area will also be created by reclaiming 15 hectares from the sea, according to the recent master plan of the port.

Meanwhile, the annual container handling capacity will increase fourfold to over a million units by 2058.

The government formally approved the expansion of the Maputo Port concession area back in 2022. This incorporated an additional area of 138 hectares, thereby expanding the port space from 140 to 278 hectares.

The extended port concession comes as another good news for the Dubai-based DP World, which has massively expanded its footprint within East African Ports. In October, DP World closed a deal with Tanzanian government, bagging a 30-year concession for the Port of Dar es Salaam.