Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: The Dubai Government owned DP World has commissioned a new container terminal at Berbera Port in Somaliland. This follows completion of the first phase of the port's expansion as part of its development into a major regional trade hub to serve the Horn of Africa.

The new terminal was opened by Muse Bihi Abdi, President of Somaliland, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World. The event also included the ground-breaking for the Berbera Economic Zone, the first phase of which is under construction.

Inauguration DP World
The opening of the Berbera Port in Somaliland.

The new container terminal - with a deep draft of 17m, a quay of 400m and three ship to shore (STS) gantry cranes - can handle the largest container vessels in operation, and increases the port's container capacity from 150,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) to 500,000 TEUs annually. The terminal also includes a container yard with eight rubber tyred gantry cranes. A new port one-stop service centre is being built and will be ready in third quarter this year.

DP World has committed to investing up to $442 million to develop and expand Berbera Port, and with the first phase now complete, work is already underway to further expand the port in a second phase. This includes extending the new quay from 400 to 1,000 metres, and installing a further seven STS gantry cranes, increasing the total from three to 10, enabling the port to handle up to 2 million TEUs a year, and multiple large container vessels at the same time.

Berbera port container terminal
The Berbera Economic Zone is modelled on the Jebel Ali Port, and DP World will be looking at quite a few synergies from this venture.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said in a statement: "Our further expansion of the port in a second phase, and its integration with the special economic zone we are developing along the Berbera Corridor, reflects our confidence in Berbera and intent to develop it into a significant, world-class centre of trade. It will be a viable, efficient and competitive option for trade in the region, especially for Ethiopian transit cargo."

Modelled on JAFZA
Part of the Berbera port and Economic Zone plan is modelled on the Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai. The economic zone is linked to the port and strategically located along the Berbera to Wajaale road (Berbera Corridor).

The economic zone aims to attract investment and create jobs, and will target a range of industries, including warehousing, logistics, traders, manufacturers, and other related sectors.