DP World Bags 30-Year Port Concession Deal in Congo
Dubai-based port developer DP World has won a 30-year concession with an option of a further 20-year extension for the management and development of a greenfield multi-purpose port project at Banana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Port of Banana will be the first deep-sea port in the country along its small coastline of 37 kilometres, which currently only has the riverine port of Matadi.
Under the deal, DP World plans to set up a joint venture with 70 pct control with the government of DRC holding a 30 pct share, to manage and invest in the port.
The first phase of the greenfield project, with an estimated initial investment of USD 350 million, will include a 600-metre quay and 25-hectare yard extension with a container capacity of 350,000 TEU and 1.5 million tonnes for general cargo, DP World said.
The construction is expected to start in 2018 and will take approximately 24 months to complete.
The initial investment of USD 350 million will be spread over 24 months and the total project cost of more than USD 1 billion over four phases will be dependent on market demand for the port, industrial and logistics zone infrastructure, DP World said.
The development gives the Democratic Republic of the Congo the opportunity to reduce its dependency on the neighbouring countries’ ports.
“ Investment in this deep-water port will have a major impact on the country’s trade with significant cost and time savings, attracting more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, and ultimately acting as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy, “ Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said.
As explained, for DP World, the investment in Congo is part of the company’s push to enlarge its footprint in Africa and promises to deliver attractive returns to shareholders over the longer-term.
“The Port of Banana will offer the first deep-water port to the Democratic Republic of the Congo that will dramatically improve the cost and time of trade as the majority of the cargo is still handled by neighbouring countries,” Jose Makila Sumanda, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Transport and Communications, Democratic Republic of the Congo, said.
“The project will provide us with a first-class marine facility comparable to other African countries in terms of capacity, draft and ability to handle the latest generation of vessels.”
Separately, the company reported that it has signed two framework agreements with the government of Kazakhstan relating to the acquisition, governance and management of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in Aktau and Khorgos.
Following the agreements, DP World now plans to acquire a 51 pct stake in the Khorgos SEZ and 49 pct in the Aktau SEZ in line with the development of the New Silk Route and the Belt and Road Initiative.