DP World to begin development of deepwater port in Congo following contract changes

The amendments readjust the different obligations of the two parties under the project, DP World says

Port operator DP World's logo seen in Jebel Ali port. The company said it started work on a deep water port in Congo after reviewing terms in the contract. Reuters
Port operator DP World's logo seen in Jebel Ali port. The company said it started work on a deep water port in Congo after reviewing terms in the contract. Reuters

Dubai-based ports operator DP World will start development of a greenfield deepwater port in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following amendments to the initial contract between the company and the government.

A term sheet summarising the contract changes followed a review by the two parties of some existing clauses in the agreement signed three years ago, DP World said in a statement on Sunday.

"The objective of the amendments was to readjust the different obligations of the two parties under the project" to better support the country's plans to develop its trade and logistics sector, DP World said, without specifying the changes.

In March 2018, DP World was awarded a 30-year concession to develop and manage the $1 billion Banana Port along the DRC's Atlantic coast in a joint venture with the government. Construction was scheduled to start in 2018 and finish in 24 months, the company said at the time.

“The signing of the term sheet is a key milestone in the partnership between DP World and the government of the DRC in moving forward with the project," Suhail AlBanna, chief executive and managing director of DP World for Middle East and Africa region, said.

The development of the Banana Port –which is expected to take two years – will lead to significant cost and time savings, attract more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, boost the DRC's economy and stimulate the region's growth, the ports operator said.

The latest agreement between the government and the company on the amended clauses reflects DRC president Félix Tshisekedi's aim "for a contract that takes into account the interests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is now the case", André Wameso, deputy chief of staff to the head of state in charge of economic and financial matters, said.

The project will be the DRC’s first deep sea port along its 37 kilometre coastline on the Atlantic ocean.

Separately, DP World said on Sunday it is set to introduce its wholesale e-commerce platform Dubuy.com in Ethiopia, after it was first made available in Rwanda.

"This technology allows home-grown businesses to become international manufacturers and exporters by linking them with new markets in Africa and the rest of the world," Mahmood Al Bastaki, chief operating officer of Dubai Trade World, said.

The initiative follows an agreement between DP World and the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport to develop logistics infrastructure and services along the Berbera-Addis Ababa trade corridor.

DP World and its partners plan to invest up to $1bn over the next 10 years to develop supply chain infrastructure along the corridor, the company said earlier this month. This will include dry ports, silos, warehouses, container yards, cool and cold chain depots, freight forwarding and clearing activities, the company said.

DP World's agreement with the Ethiopian government also proposes that the two entities establish a joint venture logistics company to carry out logistics operations from origin to destination. DP World will offer export services from origin in Ethiopia to Berbera Port and will also provide import services from the port of loading to the delivery of shipments.

Published: May 9, 2021 05:13 PM

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