DP World opens Somaliland port; phase two expansion announced
Dubai port operator has committed to investing up to $442 million to develop and expand Berbera Port
Dubai-based global ports operator DP World and the government of Somaliland on Thursday inaugurated the new container terminal at Berbera Port, following completion of the first phase of the port’s expansion as part of its development into a major regional trade hub to serve the Horn of Africa.
The new terminal was officially opened by Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, at a special event attended by over 200 guests, including a government delegation from Ethiopia, led by Finance Minister Ahmed Shide and Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges. The event also included a symbolic groundbreaking for the new Berbera Economic Zone, the first phase of which is under construction.
The new container terminal — with a deep draft of 17m, a quay of 400m and three ship to shore gantry cranes — can handle the largest container vessels in operation today, and increases the port’s container capacity from current 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) to 500,000 TEU annually. The terminal also includes a modern container yard with eight rubber tyred gantry cranes. A new port one-stop service centre is also currently being built and will be ready in quarter three this year.
DP World has committed to investing up to $442 million to develop and expand Berbera Port, and with the first phase now complete, Bin Sulayem also announced that work is already underway to further expand the port in a second phase.
Part of the overall Berbera plan and modelled on DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai, the economic zone is linked to the port and strategically-located along the Berbera to Wajaale road (Berbera Corridor). The economic zone will serve as a centre of trade with the aim to attract investment and create jobs, and will target a range of industries.
The Berbera Corridor road upgrade project, funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Hargeisa Bypass Road funded by UK Aid, is set for completion in quarter four, 2021 and quarter three 2022, respectively.
“Our further expansion of the port in a second phase, and its integration with the special economic zone we are developing along the Berbera Corridor, reflects our confidence in Berbera and intent to develop it into a significant, world-class centre of trade. It will be a viable, efficient and competitive option for trade in the region, especially for Ethiopian transit cargo,” Bin Sulayem said.
“This is a proud and historic moment for Somaliland and its people, as the completion of the first phase has made our vision of establishing Berbera with its strategic location into a major trade hub in the region a reality. With the new terminal, along with the second phase of expansion and economic zone along the Berbera corridor, we are now firmly positioned to further develop and grow our economy through increased trade, attracting foreign direct investment and creating jobs,” Bihi Abdi said.
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