Dar leases Kigoma lake port By MOHAMED ISSA MOHAMED Special Correspondent THE EAST EAST AFRICAN The Tanzania government has leased the Kigoma port on Lake Tanganyika to a Burundian firm Muapi Operators to run for five years. Charles Kiondo, Director of Lake Ports at the Tanzania Ports Authority, said the Bujumbura-based firm will manage the terminal instead of Agence Maritime Internationale, (Ami) whose contract ended last year. Mr Kiondo said that Gramviport Muapis holding firm will be required to revive the business and review the condition of the port for the first three years. Ami ceased to operate the ports cargo terminal after a 15-year spell. Trading under the name Ami Port Operations, the Belgian company did not bid for a fresh contract. Ami had a close working relationship with Kigoma and Dar es Salaam, which dates back to 1921. The firm used to have dedicated goods sheds and berths. Kigoma port was built by the Belgian government in 1922 and commissioned five years later. Ami was essentially an arm of the Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo, which was established in 1895 to facilitate trade with the Belgian colony of Congo. The cargo terminal was initially owned by the defunct Tanzania Railways Corporation, which leased it to Ami in 1995 for a five-year period in line with its policy of withdrawing from direct operations of its non-core businesses. The corporations subsidiary Maritime Services Company extended the leasing agreement with Ami in 2000. The cargo terminal has a 301-metre ship berthing facility, goods storage sheds with a capacity to store 10,300 tonnes at a time and a container stacking yard with an area of 3,745 square metres, which can store up to 380 containers. It also has an additional cargo storage facility with an area of 10,000 square metres. The port also has a 100-metre passenger quay with the capacity to handle 300,000 passengers and 150,000 tonnes of cargo per annum. The ports overall handling capacity is 500,000 tonnes of non liquid cargo per year. It has a tanker berthing facility that can handle 30,000 tonnes of oil annually.