Djibouti expands its ports’ facilities to five

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Launches investments worth USD 470 million

Djibouti launched new port facility construction projects at Doraleh and on the southeast coast in the Arta district at a cost of 470 million dollars. The new investments will increase the number of port facilities in the tiny country to five, with the other project under construction on the northern coast of Djibouti.
The country, which is the main gate of Ethiopia, the biggest landlocked country in the world in terms of population, launched the project on Sunday September 8 in the presence of Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti, Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Chirdon and other officials and diplomats.
Damerjog Livestock Port on the southeast coast and the construction of the new multiport at Doraleh are the projects that are intended to relieve the strain on existing infrastructure and accelerate economic development of the region.
According to the report presented at the event, the cattle export through the Damerjog Desengorgera Port Terminal, will eventually reach 2 million head of cattle per year.
The Damerjog Livestock Port facility will also support the expansion of the growing fishing industry in Djibouti to increase exports to neighboring countries, including to Ethiopia and abroad.
The work of this new livestock port facility includes the construction of a port with a linear dock about 675 meters long that can accommodate up to five ships and a transit area of 5 hectares dedicated to the rest of the animals between land transport and sea voyage.
Abubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the Ports Authority and Free Zones (PAFZ), stated that “Economic impact in export earnings will represent about 500 million dollars per year.”
According to head of the PAFZ, the investment for the cattle port at Damerjog, which is exclusively dedicated to this activity, in the service of the countries of the region, totals 70 million dollars.
“The construction of the new port will solve the problem of saturating the existing port but will also promote economic development through job creation,” the Chinese ambassador to Djibouti, Fu Huaqing, who attended the event, said.
China has become one of the major allies for Djibouti. A few months ago a Chinese firm bought stake in the port and in the beginning of the year the Djibouti government sold almost a quarter of the Port of Djibouti’s share to China Merchants Holdings International at the cost of 183 million dollars.
The construction of the two ports is also funded by China Merchants Group, which is part of China Merchants Holdings International.
“The foundations laid today represent an important step in the further development of the port of Djibouti and its logistics infrastructure,” said President Omar Gulleh.
The country already has the third largest container port on the continent with a strategic location at the gateway to Africa, Asia and Europe.
“Our investment plans in the short term, mainly developed in collaboration with the private sector and funded by institutions around the world, supporting the expansion of the areas of logistics, transport, fisheries, natural resources and tourism to generate new jobs and encourage further developments in the country, ” the president said.
According to officials at the port, the multiport Doraleh will be built in two phases. “This will have a 4130 meters quay with 15 berths and can handle 29 million tonnes of cargo per year,” the port authority president said.
In the first phase, the port will have a length of 1,200 meters with seven berths, including a ro-ro station (Roro Berth) and six versatile docking stations that can accommodate ships with a cargo carrying capacity reaching 100,000 tons.
Thus, 7 berths in the first phase will handle about 12 million tonnes of cargo per year. The surface area of phase I will cover 268 hectares.
According to the authority head, these investments in the port of Doraleh amounted to 400 million dollars.
The Chairman of the Port Authority and Free Zones has already announced the development of a gas terminal, one for crude oil, a naval repair yard, free trade zones and Khor Jabanas Ambado (recreation beach) and finally an airport and cargo village at Chebelleh as well as hotels and resorts in Ras Syan.
In December last year the country launched the construction of the third port of Djibouti, the Port of Tadjoura with the presence of the government heads of Djibouti and Ethiopia.
The Port of Tadjoura is scheduled to be completed within 33 months and will be another option for Ethiopia and the newly born country, South Sudan, for their import and export activities. This new Tadjoura port will be connected to Ethiopia by road from Tadjoura to Balho and by railway with the Ethiopian town of Mekele, in the future.
The new Port of Tadjoura is to be built in the Tadjoura Gulf about 1 km west of the town of Tadjoura, developed along 700m of the Eastern Walwallè wadi outlet, and will consist of a quay of about 435 m in length made by a circular cell structure, a typical Ro-Ro terminal about 190 m length,  and an embankment of 30 hectares that will have an annual capacity of eight million tons.
The project is expected to consume 61 million dollars which is going to be covered by a loan from Kuwait based Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (36 million dollars) and Saudi Fund for Development (25 million dollars).
Tadjoura is the closest outlet for Ethiopia’s Afar region, where a number of foreign firms, including Canada’s Allana Potash Corp, are developing potash mines. The port will be a big benefit to the mining companies to export their products. It is also relatively close for eastern Amhara and Tigrai regional states, which are becoming major industrial hubs in the country.
Currently, Ethiopia is mainly using the Port of Djibouti and the Doraleh container terminal for its import/export activities.