Mozambique is to expand its northern port of Pemba, in part to facilitate exploration for oil in the region, officials said.Â
A multi-million dollar expansion will allow Pemba to handle the rapidly increasing volumes of cargo passing through the port. The US-based independent oil company Anadarko Petroleum is planning to drill six wells by 2012, including two underwater wells. During 2007, Canadian company Artumas signed an oil exploration and production concession contract with the Mozambique government.
“The volume of cargo passing through Pemba from October 2006 to 2007 increased from 66,939 metric tons to 75,990 metric tons,” Port Manager, Orio Benzane, said, quoted in the April newsletter of the US-backed Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub.
The Gaborone-based organisation is a US-government initiative to improve the regionâ€™s international trade, not only with the US, but also intra-regional trade. Pemba lies in the worldâ€™s third largest bay on the coast of Mozambiqueâ€™s Cabo Delgado province.
Despite its deep-water harbour and strategic location, it has been serving primarily as a regional feeder port.