The project will extend Port Louis in order to enable it to accommodate longer vessels with a larger draught which is necessary given the overall growth in the size of container ships on long-sea high-traffic lines. The port plays a vital role in the Mauritian economy as it accounts for 2% of GDP and handles all maritime traffic for the island. This extension will make the port one of the major players in the region and it will contribute to the economic integration of the Indian Ocean region by enhancing inter-island shipping and inter-island trade between the member states of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).
The Direct grant from the EU-AITF to the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) will be used to mitigate the negative environmental and social impacts of the project. The grant will reinforce MPA’s efforts to conserve the port environment and developing Port-Louis as a "green port". The majority of the EU-AITF funds (EUR 2.063 million) will part-finance the construction of the rock bund to create reclamation land, while the rest of the funds will be used to finance the deployment of a silt screen for coral protection (EUR 405,000) and protect the bird sanctuary (EUR 225,000). The works are on-going and expected to be finalised in the near future.