Portuguese firm wins Malawi marine tender
Lilongwe – Portuguese engineering giant Mota Engil has won a US$3.5 million concession to operate marine services on Lake Malawi. Lake services which were previously run by Glens Waterways were privatised after the state noted that services were deteriorating. The state then started scouting for a new operator with “strong technical capability and financial capacity” to improve marine transport infrastructure and services in Lake Malawi Services Limited. Three firms Mota Engil, ETC Marine Limited and Jeilo Investments were shortlisted in the bid that begun in April 2009. According to the Privatisation Commission (PC) acting on behalf of the Malawi Government to identify a private sector operator Mota Engil attained the highest evaluated score for both technical and financial bids. “Mota Engil is offering US$3.5 million to acquire the existing vessels with commitment to having them rehabilitated within a period of two years,” said the Commission in a press release. The statement further said that the Portuguese firm will invest in two luxury yachts for the tourist market apart from pumping US$10 million for a joint venture establishment of a hotel unit at Monkey Bay on the lakeshore district of Mangochi, Malawi’s biggest shore attraction. The Portuguese have opened a 20 per cent space for Malawian enterprise investment participation in the concession. Mota Engil has also made a provision for a 2.5 per cent revenue participation by government from the gross revenue and 1 per cent of the revenue will be directed towards supporting the country’s marine training college. Mota Engil operates in 22 countries across the world and has 20 years experience in barging in Angola. In Malawi, the Portuguese firm is the biggest operator at Kayerkera Uranium Mines in Karong in northern Malawi. It is also constructing Malawi’s much touted Shire-Zambezi Inland Port to connect landlocked Malawi to the Indian Ocean through Shire and Zambezi rivers. Other projects include the construction of the 50 kilometres Nsanje-Bangula road and the rehabilitation of the Bangula – Chikwawa road in the Shire valley.