Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World with Dr Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Somaliland at the signing ceremony at DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.

DUBAI: DP World announced it has won a 30-year concession, with an automatic 10-year extension, for the management and development of a world-class, multi-purpose deep seaport project at Berbera in the Republic of Somaliland.

The firm, which already operates a port at Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, said Berbera will open a new point of access on the Red Sea.

The Dubai-based port operator will set up a joint venture with the government of Somaliland to manage and invest in the port. Planned investment of up to $442 million (Dh1.6 billion) will be phased and dependent on port volumes. DP World said there is scope to create a free zone at the port.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “Investment in this natural deepwater port will attract more shipping lines to East Africa and its modernisation will act as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy.

“Berbera will contribute to our continued growth in the developing markets of Africa in the years ahead. It is also a breakthrough in developing access to the sea for landlocked Ethiopia, the region’s largest economy.”

The first phase of investment 400-metre quay and 250,000 square metre yard extension, and gantry cranes and reach stackers to handle containers and cargo. The quay extension is due to start within 12 months of the agreement and be completed within two years

Dr Saad Ali Shire, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Republic of Somaliland, said:

“We are excited to partner with DP World on this landmark project. DP World Port of Berbera will offer East African importers and exporters a unique, additional world class deepwater port that will dramatically improve the competitiveness of their products in world markets and has the potential to transform the region’s economy.”