In February 2009, a national Ports Master Plan (PMP) study for Tanzania was undertaken by Royal Haskoning for Tanzania Port Authority. The plan came out with recommendations on the long term strategy for Tanzanian ports so that the capacity of the ports is sufficient for the expected demand.

The PMP investigated the current Port of Tanga and found that the same requires significant expansion in order to provide sufficient capacity and capability to meet forecast future demand. The required expansion is not considered to be practical at the existing location. Reasons for this include substantial deepening requirements, the high bedrock level in the area and the large quantity of neighboring settlements due to its city centre location.

Due to the constraints around Tanga, the PMP therefore recommended that a new port should be constructed in Mwambani bay to the south of Tanga. The report envisaged that the new port would