DP World signs landmark deal for its biggest port investment in Africa

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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DP World
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Global ports operator DP World has signed an agreement with Senegal (West African country) to build its deep-water port of Ndayane, marking the largest port investment in Africa to date by the Dubai-based company.

A total of $1.1 billion will be invested by DP World over two phases of the project. The investment is expected to enhance DP World’s position as a major logistics hub and gateway to western and north-western Africa, a statement said.

Sultan bin Sulayem
Sultan bin Sulayem
Chairman & CEO
DP World Group

“This will be DP World’s biggest port investment in Africa to date, and is a testament to our commitment to Senegal and belief in its potential for further economic growth. The new port will create jobs, attract new foreign direct investment to the country and enable new trading opportunities that bring about economic diversification.”

DP World has remained optimistic in terms of growth opportunities in Africa, and it currently has investments in Egypt, Algeria, Djibouti, Rwanda, Somaliland, Mozambique and Senegal. Despite a legal dispute over its activities in Djibouti, the ports operator has shown growing interest in the continent.

The Dubai-based company, which operates ports from Peru to Australia, will develop the new port at Ndayane, located about 50 kilometers from the existing Port of Dakar and near the Blaise Diagne international airport.

DP World Dakar SA, the local joint venture company between DP World and Port of Dakar (PAD), will develop and operate a new 300-hectare container terminal at the POD It will also finance, design and develop the land and maritime infrastructure of the new 600-hectare port.

Two phases

DP World Dakar will invest $837 million in the first phase of this project, making it the single biggest private sector investment in Senegal, according to the company. It is expected to invest a further $290m during the second phase.

The first phase will include a new 840-meter container terminal and a new 5-km marine channel built to accommodate 366-meter vessels and capable of handling the world’s largest container vessels, the statement said.

410m of new container quay and a further dredging of the marine channel to accommodate 400m vessels will be seen in the second stage. Quay refers to a structure on the shore of a harbor or on the bank of a river or canal where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers.

The first phase of the Ndayane container terminal will be operated alongside the existing DP World Dakar container terminal.

The Ndayane container terminal will eventually have more than 3km of quay and 300 hectares for the container yard. This will enable the existing Port of Dakar to be redeveloped into a mixed use residential and commercial waterfront and cruise terminal, according to the statement.

Plan Senegal Emergent

DP World is also planning to develop a special economic zone next to the Port of Ndayane to attract more foreign investors looking at the Economic Community of West African States region that includes Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Mali. The economic zone will be serviced by the port and airport.

DP World said in February that it was close to finalizing the contracts for the development of a new port and economic zone in Senegal. The port development is part of Senegal’s wider Plan Senegal Emergent, a new development model guiding its economic and social policies over the medium and long-term, according to the presidency website.

The new policy framework of President Macky Sall’s government is aimed at getting Senegal onto the road to development by 2035.

“The development of the new port at Ndayane will provide a strong engine of growth for the next phase of the Plan Senegal Emergent”, Aboubacar Sedikh Beye, Director General of the Port Authority of Dakar, said.