Djibouti to spend $330 mln on port expansion


Djibouti plans to spend US$330 million on expanding its port, an exercise that is expected to be complete by 2014 and to increase the cargo throughput, its port authority said.

Djibouti’s port, run by Dubai’s DP World , is the lifeblood of its economy.

Djibouti serves as a port for its landlocked neighbour Ethiopia, which accounts for about 70 percent of traffic, Reuters reports.

Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority, said in a statement issued on Sunday that the money will go towards the construction of a quay and container handling equipment at its Doraleh terminal.

Hadi said they planned to launch a tender for the works in early 2012. Upon completion, the expanded port will be capable of handling 3 million containers a year from an estimated 800,000 at the end of fiscal 2011 and the one million containers by mid-2012.

Djibouti hosts France’s largest military base in Africa plus a major U.S. base, and the port is used by foreign navies patrolling busy shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia to fight piracy.