Dubai: DP World on Sunday said it had finalised a joint venture with the Gulf of Aden Port Corporation that will see DP World operating and developing the container handling facilities in Aden.

"The agreement includes the lease of both Aden Container Terminal and of nearby Ma'alla Container Terminal, and a commitment by the joint venture to invest around $220 million in further developing the port, including building a new 400 metre berth extension to Aden Container Terminal within five years from handover, which is expected by the end of this year," DP World said.

Capacity at Aden port is currently around 700,000 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units) and is expected to grow to around 1.5 million TEU by 2012.

The joint venture plans to further expand capacity as dictated by market demand as part of the second phase development rights.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Yemen's Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of International Cooperation Abdul Karim Ismail Al Arhabi, and Dubai World and DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem.

Also at the signing were Yemeni Minister of Transportation Khalid Ebrahim Al Wazir and DP World vice-chairman and group CEO of Ports and Free Zones World Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah.

Strategic location

DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem said: "The port is strategically located to capture significant growing regional transshipment volumes. In addition, Aden is a key domestic cargo gateway for Yemen, and has been experiencing average annual growth in domestic throughput of around 18 per cent over the past seven years. We believe Yemen will benefit significantly from efficient port and logistics infrastructure and we look forward to working with our new partners into the future."

Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Planning and International Co-operation, Abdul Karim Esmail Al Arhabi said: "We welcome this important agreement and are pleased that the Port of Aden has established a long term relationship with DP World. We are committed to the development of Yemen and believe DP World will be an partner in helping us realise that ambition."