Doraleh Multipurpose Port Inaugurated

President Mohamed Abdullahi and President Ismail Omar Guelleh at the inaugural ceremony
President Mohamed Abdullahi and President Ismail Omar Guelleh at the inaugural ceremony

The state of the art, Doraleh Multipurpose Port (DMP), was officially inaugurated in the presence of high government officials from regional states.

The port, which is considered the most advanced port in Africa, was completed in March this year and received the first vessel in mid April. According to officials at the Port of Djibouti S.A. (PDSA), the new Multipurpose Port actually managed 11 huge vessels and one export vessel before the official inauguration.

On Wednesday May 24, DMP was inaugurated by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ of Somalia, Sufian Ahmed, advisor of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Transport and other logistics officials from Ethiopia and Deputy CEO-of China Merchant Group, Dr Hu Jianhua, among other dignitaries.

In his speech President Ismail Omar Guelleh said that this is one more step towards the enlargement and diversification of the port supply and the logistics platform of Djibouti.  “This new port will significantly increase our reception capacities and the service of different types of vessels and goods,” he added.

The port that targets boosting the logistics activity in the region has consumed USD 590 million. At the event, Saad Omar Guelleh, General Manager of the Port of Djibouti S.A. (PDSA), said that the new 690 hectare facility is equipped with ultra-modern facilities that can accommodate 100,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) vessels.  “A real showcase of a modern and emerging Djibouti,” he added.

This new port will not only reinforce service quality, but also be a part of the fast economic development of Ethiopia and the region.

The project was started in 2015, and jointly financed by Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) and China Merchant Holding (CMHC), which bought a 23.5 percent share of PDSA about four years ago. The state of the art port equipment was all manufactured by the Chinese firm ZPMC.

The geographical location of Doraleh Multipurpose Port provides a naturally deep large quay and 6 berths (to reach 15 berths in the second phase) at 16 to 18 meters in the first phase. The DMP will serve all conventional cargo vessels and related services. It will be linked to road and rail transport developing an integrated transport and economic corridor.

On behalf of Prime Minister Hailemariam at the inauguration ceremony, his advisor Sufian said “as we closely observed the commencement of the other ports in the transit infrastructure development expansion projects underway in Djibouti, we feel the commitment and extraordinary leadership of President Ismail Omar Guelleh and his administration for having translated their vision into such a formidable economic asset, which will serve the present and future generations of this historic nation.”

Ahmed Shide told Capital that Ethiopia is a 100 million population nation which has registered a fast economic growth. “And as we are using Djibouti as our main gateway, the new port is a huge additional port capacity that will help our fast economic growth since it is a very modern and quality port,” he added.

“DMP has a big port with the accommodation of six vessels at a time with very wide storage field and is able to manage different type of cargos,” he explained.

According to PDSA General Manager, DMP is able to process 220 000 TEU and 8.2 million ton of non-containerized goods. “This new port will allow us to increase our productivity by unloading the vessels with a performance three times greater than the present one,” he said, adding “Connected to both the rail and road networks, DMP is positioned as a multimodal platform that will provide us with the means to achieve our logistical ambitions at the international level.”

DMP has four separate terminals for handling containers, ro/ro, break bulk and bulk cargos.

The railway line constructed between Ethiopia and Djibouti will also connect with the port. “Ethiopia and Djibouti are part of the 21st century Belt and Road Initiative of China and this project and the railway line is mainly financed by China and constructed by Chinese companies. These projects are considered to be an early harvest of the initiative and those facilities shall be good advantages for the realization of Belt and Road Initiative,” the Minister of Transport added.

The government of Djibouti is also working to attract other landlocked countries in the central part of the continent.

Since DMP started operation, the historical Port of Djibouti, located at the heart of the capital will be transferred to the new economical development phase that includes massive tourist destination of the country and recreation center besides real estate and office apartment development.

PDSA will continue managing the new facility in Doraleh, DMP, 12km at the outskirt of the metropolitan city of Djibouti.