The World Bank's board of executive directors has approved a $345m loan to increase the capacity of the Port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to 25 million tonnes over the next seven years.

The board has also approved a $12m grant for the new Dar es Salaam Maritime Gateway Project (DSMGP).

World Bank Tanzania country director Bella Bird said: “The Port of Dar es Salaam is vital for the economies of Tanzania and neighboring countries.

“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 loan is also expected to reduce waiting time to berth from 80 hours to a target of 30 hours.

Port of Dar es Salaam currently comprises 11 berths, including seven that are primarily used for general cargo such as container, dry bulk, break bulk and RoRo operations, while the remaining four are intended for container operations.

"Enhancing the port’s operational potential will reduce the current cost of $200-$400 for each additional day of delay for a single consignment."

The port handled 13.8 million tonnes of cargo last year, up from 10.4 million tonnes in 2011.

DSMGP's latest grant has been provided to the Tanzania-based port under a larger ongoing investment programme, which is intended to promote the overall development of the Port of Dar es Salaam.

The Government of Tanzania and Trade Mark East Africa are also a part of the initiative. The UK Government is also contributing via its Department for International Development (DFID)

The support will be utilised to co-finance the activities under the DSMGP and also for capacity building programmes.

DSMGP will see improvements to the port’s physical infrastructure such as deepening and strengthening of Berths 1 to 11, the construction of a new multipurpose berth at Gerezani Creek, and the widening of the entrance channel and turning basin.

Improvements to railway services and the development of the platform at the port will also be conducted under the DSMGP programme.