DP World in talks with Angola for Port of Luanda terminal concession

Dubai-based company plans to invest $190m over the 20-year holding period

A view of ships moored in the harbour and container terminal in Luanda, capital city of Angola. 
A view of ships moored in the harbour and container terminal in Luanda, capital city of Angola. 

DP World is in talks with Angola's government to operate the terminal in the Port of Luanda, as it continues to expand its footprint in Africa.

The Dubai-based company, which operates ports from Hong Kong to Chile, said on Monday it plans to invest $190 million into the multi-purpose terminal during the 20-year concession period.

It is aiming to increase annual throughput to about 700,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).

"Angola’s location on the Atlantic ocean in southern Africa means it has the opportunity to benefit from flows of trade into the surrounding region," Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman and chief executive of DP World, said. “We believe in Angola’s strong potential for further economic growth."

DP World's plans in Angola come after it sealed its biggest port investment deal in Africa last week, with an agreement to develop Senegal's Ndayane deep-water port.

DP World has remained bullish on growth prospects in Africa, where it has existing investments in Egypt, Algeria, Djibouti, Rwanda, Somaliland, Mozambique and Senegal, according to its website. The ports operator has shown increasing interest in the continent despite a legal dispute over its operations in Djibouti.

DP World entered discussions with the Angolan government on the terminal operation agreement following an international tender process and the company's selection by an evaluation committee set up by the Angolan Ministry of Transport, it said.

This will be the first seaport terminal located on the western coast of southern Africa to be operated and managed by DP World.

The ports operator plans to upgrade the terminal's existing infrastructure and acquire new equipment, to bring operations in line with global standards and train existing staff, it said.

The terminal at the Port of Luanda handles containers and general cargo. It has a quay of 610 metres with a depth of 12.5 metres and a yard of 23 hectares.

Angola is the second-largest oil producer in Africa, after Nigeria. Its economy depends heavily on hydrocarbon production, making its economy vulnerable to oil price swings.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the shock from falling crude prices have put severe pressure on the country's economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In September, the Washington-based lender approved additional financial support to Angola to help mitigate the impact of the crises. The fund has provided $1 billion to Angola, bringing its total expected financial support to about $4.5bn under its three-year economic programme.

Angola's economy is expected to contract 4 per cent this year, according to IMF projections.

Updated: December 28, 2020 03:57 PM

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