The Deepest Port in the South Indian Ocean

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The new quay at the Mauritius Container Terminal (MCT) was officially inaugurated by the Honourable Pravind Kumar JUGNAUTH, Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications & National Development Unit and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, during a ceremony attended by numerous ministers, diplomats, business captains and employees of the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) and the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd (CHCL).

One of the biggest projects ever undertaken at Port Louis Harbour (PLH) was the commissioning of the Mauritius Container Terminal (MCT) which came into operation in 1999. The MCT berth had an original total quay length of 560 metres and was designed for 14.0 metres water depth at quay. The navigational channel however, had a dredged depth of 13.1 metres and the container yard covered an area of about 7.5 hectares.


The Government, through its Vision 2030, ambitions to transform PLH into a major container transshipment hub. PLH is located at the intersection of the main shipping routes which makes it ideal for container transshipment. Due to the rapid increase in the size of container vessels calling at PLH, shipping lines and port operators require greater flexibility in options for handling operations in terms of additional quayage and deeper draft.

Between 2002 to 2007, the container yard was further expanded by 6.4 hectares reaching 13.9 hectares, capable of handling 550,000 TEUs annually. To be in line with global trend and to meet the demands of our customers, the MPA undertook additional dredging works in 2006, deepening the navigational channel and turning basin at MCT from 13.1 metres to a depth of 14.5 metres.

As part of its on-going commitment to enhance port capacity, improve productivity and accommodate larger container vessels, the MPA embarked on the implementation of the works under the Extension & Strengthening of the MCT Berth Project. As from August 2017, the MCT now has a linear quay of 800 metres, with the access channel at a dredged depth of -16.5 metres as detailed below:

 Quay    Length (metres)  Dredged depth at Quay (metres)   Type of Traffic Handled 
MCT 1 400.0 -18.0 Containers
MCT 2 400.0 -18.0 Containers

The new Quay is equipped with the following:

  • 5 post-panamax gantry cranes
  • 2 super-post-panamax gantry cranes expected to be in operation in January 2018
  • 8 rubber-tyred gantries (6 additional expected to be in operation in January 2018)
  • Turning circle of 450 metres diameter
  • Container storage area of 21 hectares
  • 576 reefer points
  • Annual throughput capacity of 750,000 TEUs.
  • A Container Scanner

The new facility will significantly increase container handling capacity at PLH and attract shipping lines to use Port Louis as their transhipment base in the region. The extended quay will enhance berthing capacity by enabling two large container ships of up to 12,000 TEUs to berth simultaneously.

Click here to watch the speech by the Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development for the inauguration of the new Quay at the Mauritius Container Terminal.