Dubai-based multinational logistics company DP World and the Government of Somaliland collectively inaugurated the new container terminal at Berbera Port as the first phase of the port’s expansion was completed.
The new terminal was officially presented to the public by Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland, and H.E Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, at a special event attended by over 200 guests including representations from the Ethiopian government.
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 17 meters, a quay of 400 meters 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 the current 150,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) to 500,000 TEUs annually.
The terminal also includes a modern container yard with eight rubber-tired 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 made a commitment of $442 million to develop and expand Berbera Port. Work on Phase 2 of the port expansion plan is already underway. In the next phase, the new quay will be extended from 400 to 1,000 meters. Seven STS gantry cranes will be further installed, 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.
Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland, 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.”
“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.”
DP World Berbera has witnessed an increase by 35 percent in volumes since it began its operation in March 2017 with vessel productivity growing by 300 percent and a reduction in container vessel waiting time from four to five days to only a few hours.
DP World and the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in May 2021, with the aim of developing the Ethiopian side of the road linking Addis Ababa to Berbera, into one of the major trade and logistics corridors of the country’s international trade routes.