French container shipping company CMA CGM is said to be in talks with Djibouti on developing a new container terminal in the country, with an initial investment estimated to be worth USD 660 million.
According toAboubakar Omar Hadi, Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority(DPFZA), cited by Reuters, the concession for the terminal is expected to be awarded in July, with the construction on the project set to start in September.
The new terminal, to be named Doraleh International Container Terminal, would have an initial annual capacity of 2.4 million TEUs and it would take around two years to complete its construction, as explained by Hadi. Further expansion of the terminal would bring its total capacity to 4 million TEUs.
The majority of the terminal construction (85 pct) would be financed by DPFZA via bank loans, while the concession partner would participate with the remaining 15 pct, Hadi is quoted as saying.
When approached by World Maritime News CMA CGM said it was not making any comment on the matter.
The port authority has not replied yet to WMN’s request for a statement.
Djibouti’s dispute with DP World
The talks have emerged on the heels of aconcession terminationfor Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) between the Government of Djibouti and Dubai-based terminal operator DP World in February this year.
The move has prompted DP World to launchnew arbitration proceedingsin London against the Government of Djibouti as it believes the decision was “illegal seizure of control”.
The Government of Djibouti, on the other hand, attributed the decision to the poor performance of the container terminal.
Haidi told Reuters that the authority was ready to buy out the 33 pct stake in DCT from DP World in order to end the arbitration proceedings.
At the beginning of March, Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company, which has since assumed management of the terminal,signed a contractwith Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) with the aim of bolstering cargo volume at the terminal.
The port deal is expected to bring an additional 300,000 TEU containers to the terminal per annum, boosting its volumes by 33 pct.
The terminal has a capacity of 1.6 million TEUs per year.
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