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Expansion plans for the Berbera port scale-up

DP World, the UAE-based operator that manages the port of Berbera in Somaliland under a 30-year concession contract, has revealed plans to increase the handling capacity of this port (which currently stands at 500,000-600,000 TEU per year), to 2M TEU/year. This will be done by extending its quay from 400m to 1,000m and by installing seven more STS gantry cranes.

The Berbera port constitutes the originating point of a recently-built road corridor connecting the Horn of Africa seaport to Ethiopia, passing by the border town of Tog Wajaale, a locality known for hosting a vibrant livestock market, but also for the widespread presence of informal trade. Because of this road, recent analysis indicate Berbera as one of the most promising port and a game-changer in transport logistics in the whole East Africa region.

DP World is well aware of the potentialities of such port (and of Somalia in general), as it is also investing in the development of a free trade zone located a few kilometres from Berbera, and in the upgrade of the Port of Bosaso in neighbouring Puntland. Moreover, according to rumours circulating on various websites, plans are ongong for investing in other Somali ports such as Kisimayo and Gara’ad.

In December 2022, a deal was achieved by DP World with Puntland’s authorities to expand the Bosaso port. The UAE-logistics giant seems intended to maintain a strong presence at the southern end of the Red Sea, especially after Djibouti handed over the Doraleh Container Terminal to China Merchants, a controversial decision which has been challenged so far by several arbitral institutions.

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