Royal HaskoningDHV was commissioned by the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) to carry out an update of the Ports Master Plan for Port Louis and other locations around the island. The Port Master Plan is required by the constitution of the MPA and is revised from time to time. The previous master plan was completed in early 2009. This revision focuses on likely developments between 2015 and 2040.
The purpose of a Port Master Plan is to set up a framework within which the port can address commercial opportunities without impeding later developments. This requires a degree of flexibility and a master plan that exactly defines what is to happen to every square metre of land will fail because the trade will almost certainly not evolve exactly as the planning team project.
Since 2009, many things have changed in the port, the most significant being the cancellation of the harbour bridge project and the return of the land at Les Salines to the MPA. The government has also set up the Ocean Economy initiative to focus on an increased contribution by the maritime sector to the Mauritius economy.
The main developments in Port Louis have happened since the first deep water berths were built in the early 1970s. Incremental development since then has produced a number of inconsistencies in the layout of the port and this master plan seeks to rationalise the layout as well as to accommodate the evolving trade pattern.