London 2nd December 2020:

Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Ltd (MHCL), which operates and manages the Mpulungu Harbour in Zambia (Harbour) and is owned by the Industrial Development Corporation Limited of Zambia and eleQtra Ltd announced today the signature of an MOU to develop a scheduled marine transport service on Lake Tanganyika (Project) that will boost trade flows between Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 21 November 2020, the Project secured berthing allocation rights based on a “First Planned, First Served” Protocol and the right to use designated laydown and staging areas and warehouses at the Harbour, with MHCL providing access to potential key stakeholders in the Project.

The Project is an important part of a wider initiative of eleQtra to develop marine transport businesses on the large inland lakes of Africa and mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, as well as accelerate economic growth and impact millions of people in the region. eleQtra sees strong potential for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the diversion of road traffic and in particular heavy goods vehicles to ferries and marine transport cargo vessels. Over recent years, eleQtra has successfully developed these businesses on Lake Victoria and is now concentrating on other target markets in Africa, including the countries surrounding Lake Tanganyika and Lake Volta. With regional offices established in some of the key markets in East, West, and Southern Africa, the company plans to push ahead with the development of its portfolio of lake transport and other climate change projects.

“eleQtra has been investing and developing marine transport projects in West and East Africa for over 10 years. Through Kalangala Infrastructure Services Ltd (KIS), we developed Uganda’s first private ferry service between Kalangala Island and the mainland which has been operating since 2012; through East Africa Marine Transport Ltd (EAMT), we developed the first scheduled freight service between Port Bell and Mwanza, with the construction of the first ferry scheduled to start in January 2021. It has been an evolving journey, involving both public and private partners, which has seen a recent shift in focusing investments on energy efficient modes of transport, taking advantage of inland lakes and waterways,” said Gad Cohen (CEO of eleQtra).

The Chairman of Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited board, Elias Mpondela also said: “Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Limited-MHCL which operates Zambia’s only inland port on the shores of Lake Tanganyika that links Zambia to Eastern DR Congo, Western Tanzania, Burundi and through the latter Rwanda is proud to enter into this MOU with eleQtra. Mpulungu port is well positioned to foster trade and economic links between Zambia and the Great Lakes region.

MHCL has unveiled a 2020-2024 strategic plan that will upgrade Mpulungu port into a 4th generation port that features upgraded logistics functions, production and processing, and trade capabilities all supported by a knowledge hub in the form of a maritime training institute. The maritime institute will have port and vocational training units that train Zambian and foreign nationals. The skillsets generated by the training institute will facilitate investment in production, processing, and trading activities focused around Mpulungu port aside from facilitating logistics sector development and regional economic growth.

An important element of a successful port is the presence of reliable shipping services. Zambia does not have a functioning locally registered shipping line although most goods shipped between it and the Great Lakes from Mpulungu port originate from Zambia. The MHCL strategic plan provides for the establishment of a locally registered shipping line. This partnership enables MHCL attain a key milestone in its ambition to turn Mpulungu port into the top logistics, production and processing, knowledge and trade hub in the Great Lakes region.”

About eleQtra

eleQtra’s mission is to develop, invest in, own and operate clean energy and transport solutions for Sub-Saharan Africa in an economic, reliable and responsible manner. With its principal offices in London and New York, as well as offices in Accra (Ghana), Kampala (Uganda), Maputo (Mozambique) and Lusaka (Zambia), eleQtra is one of the leading infrastructure developers and sponsors in Sub-Saharan Africa with a demonstrated track record of originating over $1 billion of energy and transport infrastructure projects.

About Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Ltd

The Mpulungu Harbour Corporation Ltd (“MHCL”) is the owner and operator of Zambia’s principal port on Lake Tanganyika, the Port of Mpulungu. Registered in 1988, the company was established to acquire, maintain and operate Mpulungu Harbour and any other harbours in Zambia and in any other part of the world; to act as carriers of passengers, goods of any nature as shipping, chartering, forwarding and transport agents; stevedores, proprietors of warehouses; and to purchase, construct, sell, hire or let ships and vessels. MHCL is wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia via the Industrial Development Corporation (“IDC”).


Richard Parry, eleQtra Partner: