Portia sells its holding in Port Maputo

The Grindrod Group of South Africa has acquired a 51% share of Maputo Port Development Company SA (MPDC) held by the UK’s Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, the Swedish group Skanska and Liscont – Operadores de Contentores SA – the Portuguese container terminal operator.

The acquisition, concluded on Thursday, 20th December, 2007, followed the successful completion of the first phase of redevelopment under a port management contract held by Mersey Docks’ international arm, Portia Management Services. Since taking over management and development of Port Maputo in 2003, MPDC has transformed berths, established new working practices and stimulated trade and investment.

Port Maputo handled more than 6.5 million tonnes of cargo and 690 ship calls in 2006, the best performance in more than 25 years and one which earned MPDC international accolades for the “tremendous improvements achieved”.

Ken Wharton, Chairman of MPDC and a Director of Portia, said: “It is gratifying to have successfully completed the first major phase of redevelopment and it is reassuring to transfer our interests to an organisation with an outstanding record of commitment and achievement in the ports and logistics sector of Southern Africa.”