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DP World to develop Jafza-inspired free zone in Somaliland

DP World has signed an agreement to establish a greenfield economic free zone in Somaliland to complement the development of the Port of Berbera

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World.

DP World and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Somaliland have signed an agreement to establish a greenfield economic free zone to complement the development of the Port of Berbera.

Under the terms of the agreement, DP World will undertake the development of the Berbera Free Zone (BFZ), which will be modelled after DP World’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai, in phases.

Phase 1 will focus on 400ha of land out of the 1,220ha that has been earmarked for the project, said DP World.

Future phases will reportedly be detailed in a concept plan that will also identify the projected capital investment the development would require from DP World.

Read: UAE’s DP World to finance $2m worth of projects in Somaliland

In a statement, DP World noted that the new project is aimed at attracting investments, encouraging trade, creating new jobs, and positioning Berbera as a gateway port for the region.

The port operator also revealed that further details of the BFZ will be concluded with Somaliland’s new government after the country’s elections, scheduled for 13 November, 2017.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World, said: “We are excited by Somaliland’s development opportunities, which have parallels with the start of our own growth in Dubai and the UAE.

“We look forward to finalising the details of the Berbera Free Zone with the next government of Somaliland and look forward to our continued partnership. We thank the people of Berbera and Somaliland for welcoming us to their country and the trust they’ve placed in us as port operators and trade enablers. Our vision is to make Berbera a trading and transportation hub for the Horn of Africa and we look forward to achieving this together.”

DP World has reportedly started implementing the Berbera master plan, which includes an additional 400m container terminal. It has also upgraded existing facilities by introducing new equipment, including two reach stackers, 10 internal transfer vehicles (ITVs), and five forklifts.

The first cranes are scheduled to arrive next year, according to the company.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019