Dji­bouti Plans New Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal to Bol­ster Trans­port Hub As­pi­ra­tions

Africa Outlook - - News -

Dji­bouti is in talks with French ship­ping com­pany, CMA CGM to de­velop a new con­tainer ter­mi­nal at an ini­tial cost of $660 mil­lion as part of the tiny African coun­try’s bid to ex­pand into a sea and air trans­port hub for the con­ti­nent.

Aboubakar Omar Hadi, chair­man of the Dji­bouti Ports and Free Zone Author­ity (DPFZA), com­mented re­cently that the author­ity hopes to award the con­ces­sion in July. It was also pre­pared to buy out DP World’s stake in an ex­ist­ing con­tainer ter­mi­nal to end a row with the Dubai port op­er­a­tor and avoid ar­bi­tra­tion, he said.

Dji­bouti’s strate­gic lo­ca­tion has led the United States, China, Ja­pan and for­mer colo­nial power France to build mil­i­tary bases there.

Its ports al­ready serve as an en­try

point for cargo which is then sent by smaller ves­sels to ports along Africa’s east­ern coast, but it is now seek­ing to be­come a sea-air trans­ship­ment hub for the en­tire con­ti­nent.

To do this, Hadi said DPFZA was also plan­ning to con­struct a $350 mil­lion air­port and ex­pand Air Dji­bouti’s fleet of cargo air­craft.

The new con­tainer ter­mi­nal project could break ground as early as Septem­ber, 2018 with con­struc­tion ex­pected to take 24 months, Hadi said, speak­ing on the side­lines of the Africa CEO Fo­rum in Abid­jan, Ivory Coast.

Once op­er­a­tional, Hadi said the port ter­mi­nal would boast an an­nual ca­pac­ity of 2.4 mil­lion twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units (TEU), but sub­se­quent ex­pan­sion phases would bring that up to four mil­lion TEUs.

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