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DP World wins $1bn port development Congo contract

DP World may build a $1bn deep-water port at Banana, after signing an exclusive deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo's government

DP World to develop first-ever deep-sea port in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
DP World to develop first-ever deep-sea port in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DP World has won a contract worth more than $1bn (AED3.6bn) to develop the Banana seaport in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which includes building the country's first deep-sea harbour.

Four phases of construction could be launched to build and operate a deep-water port, with key projects including the construction of a 600m quay and a 250,000m² yard extension with a capacity for 350,000 containers.

Phase 1 construction will start in 2018 and could last two years. Investment in the first phase is $350m (AED1.2bn). Spending across all four constriction phases is estimated to cost more than $1bn (AED3.6bn), although this is dependent on the level of demand for the port, which will dictate if Phases 2 to 4 will be implemented.

READ: DP World to develop Jeddah Port as part of Saudi Vision 2030

As part of the agreement, DP World will set up a 70:30 joint venture with the government of the democratic Republic of Congo for management of the port at Banana. Its contract includes a 30-year concession agreement, with an option for a 20-year extension. This means the company could run the port for half a century. 

Group chairman and chief executive officer at DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: “We are delighted to extend our African footprint further with a major investment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is Africa’s third-most populous country but has no direct deep-sea port.

“Investment in this deep-water port will have a major impact on the country’s trade with significant cost and time savings, attracting more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, and ultimately acting as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy.”

Jose Makila Sumanda, vice prime minister and minister of transport and communications, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said: “We are excited to partner with DP World on this landmark project.

“The Port of Banana will offer the first deep-water port to the Democratic Republic of the Congo that will dramatically improve the cost and time of trade as the majority of the cargo is still handled by neighbouring countries.

The project will provide us with a first-class marine facility comparable to other African countries in terms of capacity, draft and ability to handle the latest generation of vessels.

“The country was waiting for this strategic and structural project for a long time,” Sumanda added.

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Construction Week - Issue 738
Apr 21, 2019