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Dubai's DP World starts expansion of Somaliland port

Shafa Al Nahda Contracting has won the main contract for DP World's project

DP World's port expansion in Somaliland broadens the Dubai firm's geographic expansion.
DP World's port expansion in Somaliland broadens the Dubai firm's geographic expansion.

Dubai's state-owned port operator DP World has launched a multi-phased expansion of Berbera port, Somaliland, to boost trade for landlocked countries in the Horn of Africa.

Workers will build a 400m quay and launch a 25ha yard extension under Phase 1, which will also see a free zone built to create a regional trading hub. This will be managed by the joint venture company, DP World Berbera, in which Ethiopia has a 19% stake.

Shafa Al Nahda Contracting was awarded the main construction contract for the port expansion, having worked on the Port of Dakar in Senegal and expansion of the Port of Maputo, Mozambique.

READ: DP World to start work on Mali logistics hub by 2019

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive officer of DP World, described the ground-breaking ceremony, held on 11 October, as “a  landmark in the history of Somaliland and DP World”.

“We are delighted that construction work has begun, and over the next few years, we will see a transformation in the capacity of this major infrastructure asset that will benefit people both here and across the Horn of Africa.”

Sulayem said DP World's investment in the natural deep-water port and free zone would be a “catalyst for the growth of the country”. Alongside investment in infrastructure, DP World said it would invest in training people in Somaliland to create jobs for the local economy.

READ: DP World to build trading hub for China’s Belt and Road

President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi, said the start of construction marked a “major milestone” in the development of the African country's economy. 

“Connecting to landlocked countries such as Ethiopia and the rest of the region will reinforce the firm relationships that now exist and make Somaliland an important player in regional economic integration and growth. The importance of the Port of Berbera as a Red Sea gateway for the Middle East and Africa can now be realised, unlocking our potential as a trade hub and creating jobs across the country.”

DP World is a notable investor in Africa's logistics industry, with operations in Djibouti, Rwanda, and Algeria. This July, the port operator confirmed it would start building a 1,000ha logistics centre in Mali in 2019.

Construction of the Mali hub is expected to last 18 months and investment in Phase 1 is believed to have surpassed $50m (AED183.6m). 

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