Major discoveries of gas and oil in Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya have led to the growth of the East African coastline as a key energy hub. In Tanzania, significant discoveries of gas off the coast have initiated exploratory drilling, supported by an offshore supply base (OSB) in the port of Mtwara. The high utilisation of the Mtwara berths by offshore support vessels, as well as general port activities including security and cargo vessels, have put a strain on berth availability. Activity is particularly high through the cashew season, which runs from September/October to April/May.
 
BG International Tanzania were considering future expansion, and commissioned Royal HaskoningDHV (in association with Lonrho) to prepare a feasibility study for the expansion of the Mtwara OSB. 

Our objectives were to determine the operational requirements for the base, as well as the feasibility of short-term (within one year) and medium-term (within 2-5 years) solutions to increase capacity of the offshore supply base. 

In order to determine the operational requirements, Royal HaskoningDHV had to undertake an assessment of current and future OSB operations, use experience from consultants on operations of other OSBs, and assess the forecasted drilling programmes. 

Once the operational requirements were outlined, they were then used to identify the shortcomings and requirements of the Mtwara OSB over the short and mid-term. 

Our report presented alternative solutions for addressing the short and mid-term shortcomings of the OSB. These solutions were then evaluated on the basis of their technical feasibility, constructability, construction planning, cost, and operational performance. This allowed recommendations to be made for the short-term and mid-term capacity expansion for the Mtwara port.