Madagascar: Japan finances the expansion of the port of Toamasina

A Madagascarthe port of Toamasina will quadruple its freight capacity. Considerable expansion fueled by funding and expertise from Japan.

The port of Toamasina is the lifeblood of Madagascar. 80% of national and global goods pass through here like food or cars.

“The port’s existing infrastructure is obsolete because it is around fifty years old, Explain Christian Eddy Avellinmanaging director of SPAT, the management company of the autonomous port. Today we only have one container wharf with limited depth. Storage space is also limited.

The port is expanding with the creation of a new 470 meter long quay and a container storage area. The existing berths are also deepened.

It’s a huge boost for connectivity, this will allow in the future to accommodate more cargo shipsincluding some larger ones. Currently, about 250,000 containers pass through this port each year. But this figure is expected to increase to one million.

Concrete water absorption blocks are key to delivering one of Africa’s largest infrastructure projects. They are manufactured on site and more than 4,500 of them will be used to extend a 345 meter breakwater.

“We use 4D sonar to install the wave dissipation blocks, detailed City of Sogawacivil engineer from Penta-Ocean Construction Company Ltd. Thanks to this 4D sonar, the operator can check in real time where they are installed.”

Once the breakwater is completed, sand will be recovered from the sea to create the new facilities.

All this is the result of a partnership between Madagascar and Japan. A development assistance loan from 350 million euros was granted by Japan, in addition to engineering expertise.

“20 Japanese and 50 people from other countries teach construction methods to 600 Malagasy construction workers and 100 other Malagasy employees”Explain Taguchi Haruhirogeneral manager of the Penta-Ocean Construction Company Ltd.

Sitraka Jean D’Annie Rabemanjakasoa, civil engineer, took the opportunity:“It’s the first time I’ve worked with Japanese people. I am so happy to be able to help my countryeven if it’s not a lot, with them I can give more.”

Emmanuel Julio Rajaonasyhead of the new works department of SPAT also appreciate this partnership:_ “I learned a lot of things working with the Japanese. Before the start of the project, we went to Japan for training.”_

Japan has a long history of funding development projects on the African continent. Some of these projects contribute to the achievement of a indopacific basin free and open. A vision shared by Japan and by many other countries such as Australia, India and the United States.

The port of Toamasina is at the heart of this vision, as confirmed by Tanaka KaoriChief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA):“This project is part of this vision to improve connectivity through the development of quality infrastructure. The Japanese government believes that the establishment of a free and open international order, based on the rule of law in the region Indo-Pacific, will guarantee peace and prosperity in this region and beyond.

For cargo crane operators like Gaetan, who is honing his skills in a simulator, the expansion of the port is great news. Up to 1000 new jobs should be created after construction.

It is an economic boost for the city of Toamasina. And more broadly for Madagascar, with improved road and rail connections and a new transport and freight hub in the capital Antananarivo.

For Dina Hariniry Rakotomalaladirector general of maritime, river and air transport at the Ministry of Transport and Meteorology of Madagascar: “This project will promote Madagascar’s connectivity with Africa and Asia. It will also enable our country to improve its contribution to regional integration.”

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