The government has also received a $12 million (27 billion/-) grant from the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) to improve efficiency at the port.
Dar es Salaam vies with the port of Mombasa in Kenya to become the trade hub for landlocked African states such as Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but both ports are hobbled with congestion and ineffiency.
“The project represents the start of an incremental process towards increasing the capacity of the port of Dar es Salaam and strengthening its economic role in the region,” said Richard Martin Humphreys, the World Bank’s lead transport economist said in a statement.
“It aims to make the necessary improvements to the current sub-structure, whilst providing a new berth, facilitating the access and egress of larger vessels to the port and improving the integration with the access modes of road and rail."
The government said in January it had received another $305 million loan from the World Bank to expand the port."The (Dar es Salaam)n port handled 13.8 million tonnes in 2016, up from 13.1 million tonnes in 2013, and 10.4 million tonnes in 2011, reflecting an average growth of 9 percent per year over the last five years," said the World Bank.
"While recent numbers indicated a slowdown, the respite is likely to be short lived as projections for the long term suggest the port’s volumes could double, from the current 14 million tonnes to 38 million tonnes by 2030, in an unconstrained scenario."
The World Bank said in a 2014 report that inefficiencies at Dar es Salaam port was costing Tanzania and its neighbours up to $2.6 billion a year. Tanzania wants to lift capacity at the port to 28 million tonnes a year by 2020.
“The port of Dar es Salaam is vital for the economies of Tanzania and neighboring countries,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania.
“Enhancing its operational potential will boost trade and job creation across the region and reduce the current cost of $200-$400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment.”
The ongoing infrastructure investments at the port are expected to improve waiting time to berth from 80 hours to 30 hours as well as overall productivity, according to the World Bank.
Tanzania signed a $154 million contract last month with the state-run China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to build a roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) terminal and deepen and strengthen seven berths at the Dar es Salaam port.