AD Ports Angola
The terminal’s redevelopment is expected to be completed in Q3 2026. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Ports group announced on Tuesday that it has signed several agreements with Angolan companies and the Luanda Port Authority to operate and upgrade the existing Luanda multipurpose port terminal.

AD Ports Group has committed $251 million towards modernising the terminal and developing the logistics business over the next three years (2024-2026), potentially increasing to $379 million over the concession term and in line with market demand.

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The 20-year concession agreement, extendable for another ten years, with the Luanda Port Authority has been signed with logistics and transport companies Unicargas and Multiparque.

The agreements with Unicargas and Multiparques saw Abu Dhabi Ports acquire an 81 per cent stake in a joint venture operating the terminal and a 90 per cent stake in another joint venture serving the facility and the broader Angolan logistics market.

The Port of Luanda plays an important role in Angola’s domestic economy and handles more than 76 per cent of the country’s container and general cargo volumes. “It is well situated to capture the anticipated growth in the country’s container volumes, which are projected to rise at an average annual rate of 3.3 per cent over the next decade,” Abu Dhabi Ports said.

The group said, “In addition, it serves as one of the main transhipment hubs for Central-West Africa by enabling maritime trade access to land-locked countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.”

Ricardo Daniel Sandão Queirós Viegas de Abreu, Minister of Transport, Angola, said, “The Port of Luanda is not just Angola’s main maritime gateway; it is a critical hub for regional trade and economic vitality. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our mission to modernise infrastructure and expand global trade access, promising a prosperous future for Angola and its partners.”

Under the terms of the terminal concession agreement, the joint venture will upgrade the existing multipurpose facility to a container and Ro-Ro terminal, encompassing an enlarged concession area (178,000 sqm to 192,000 sqm); an upgraded quay wall; additional ship-to-shore cranes, gantry cranes and other state-of-the-art equipment; expanded draft (9.5 metres to 16 metres); and, modernised IT systems.

Boosting operations

The terminal’s redevelopment is expected to be completed in Q3 2026, boosting its container handling volumes from 25,000 TEUs to 350,000 TEUs and Ro-Ro volumes to over 40,000 vehicles. During the three-year redevelopment, the terminal’s container volumes will be handled at a nearby berth, while excess volumes will be moved to Multiparques’ Viana inland container depot (ICD), thereby minimising any impact on customers.

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said, “The milestone agreements we signed today with our Angolan partners deliver on last year’s framework agreement signed between AD Ports Group and the Government of Angola. Supported by the vision of our wise leadership, the multipurpose terminal will be modernised to attract business from leading global shipping lines and offer the highest levels of service efficiency and quality, benefitting our nations, partners, stakeholders and customers.”

AD Ports Group will offer integrated logistics and freight services in partnership with Unicargas. Noatum Logistics, part of AD Ports Group, will manage container movements to Viana ICD and handle transportation within Angola and nearby countries. They’ll utilize Noatum’s global resources and Unicargas’ local assets for efficiency. Noatum will enhance operations by managing Unicargas’ truck fleet, investing in new equipment, and upgrading IT systems for seamless supply chain visibility.

In addition, AD Ports Group is also exploring opportunities to support Angola’s offshore industry and other maritime sectors through its maritime and shipping cluster and deploy assets such as work accommodation vessels, passenger ferries, platform supply vessels, and other maritime craft and infrastructure.