DP World, a leading provider of integrated logistics solutions, and the government of Somaliland, have 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 HE Muse Bihi Abdi, president of Somaliland, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, at a special event attended by more than 200 guests, including a government delegation from Ethiopia, led by their Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance and Dagmawit Moges, minister of Transport. The event also included a symbolic ground-breaking 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 (STS) 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 (TEUs) to 500,000 TEUs annually. The terminal also includes a modern container yard with eight rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGs). 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 US$442mn to develop and expand Berbera Port, and with the first phase now complete, Mr bin Sulayem also announced that work is already underway to further expand the port in a second phase. This includes extending the new quay from 400 to 1,000m, and installing a further seven STS gantry cranes, increasing the total from three to 10, enabling the port to handle up to two million TEUs a year, and multiple large container vessels at the same time.
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, including warehousing, logistics, traders, manufacturers, and other related sectors. It will allow producers, suppliers, and customers to operate in a conducive and competitive environment for investment and trade.
The Berbera Corridor road upgrade project, funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Hargeisa Bypass Road funded by UK Aid, is set for completion in Q4 2021 and Q3 2022, respectively. The road will link to the existing modern highway on the Ethiopian side and position Berbera as a direct, fast, and efficient trade route for Ethiopian transit cargo.