Djibouti has recently attained a major milestone which entails the completion of Djibouti Port Expansion project that cost a total of $70 million. These expansion works were solely meant to meet the rapidly increasing demand of in the region and enable a boost and enhancement in the transshipment capabilities of the port. As a result of the expansion works that were conducted, the neighboring Ethiopian customers will enjoy the opportunity of paying lower rates for the shipment of their cargo.
On January 22, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, was in attendance of the opening ceremony of the extensive expansion of the Doraleh Container Terminal (SGTD) that was held in Doraleh, Djibouti. The previous expansion works that were done on the Djibouti Port facility have enabled it to have the capability of accommodating the largest container ships, including even the Malaccamax vessel.
Facilties at the Newly Expanded Djibouti Port
Facilities that came by as a result of the Djibouti Port Expansion project are quite commendable. A total of four high capacity gantry cranes have been added marking a 50% increase in the number of cranes at the port. Furthermore, expansion works were also conducted on the stacking yard which have resulted to a 20% increase in capacity at the port.
Scope of the Djibouti Port Expansion Project
Other than facilitating the import-export operations of Ethiopia, the Djibouti Port Expansion project has an objective of making the port a key player in the transshipment industry. According to Abdillahi Adaweh Sigad, who is the current CEO of SGTD said that the expansion project that had been concluded was not only going to increase the transshipment revenue but also will provide numerous benefits to the clients based in the neighboring country of Ethiopia. Additionally, the CEO of Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics (ESL), Berisso Amallo, expressed his satisfaction and gratitude with the concluded Djibouti Port Expansion project works. He highlighted that ESL will be able to bring ships or vessels of any size at the newly expanded Djibouti Port.
Ethiopian Controversial Port Deal
Recently, Ethiopia reached a controversial deal with Somaliland that would enable it to have an access to the Red Sea. This deal has faced a lot of criticism from even western countries and regional bodies like African Union, US, the Arab League, and Turkey which called upon Ethiopia to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and unity of Somalia. The terms of the deal entailed that Ethiopia would be permitted to lease a 20-kilometer land stretch of coastal land that is located in Somaliland, thereby giving the landlocked land crucial access to Red Sea via the Berbera Port.
However, Ethiopia defended their decision by stating that the MoU deal that they signed with Somaliland is meant for cooperation and partnership purposes that permits Ethiopia to have access on the Red Sea solely on business purposes. Ethiopia also further stated that the deal was not meant for annexation or assuming sovereignty over the territory of any state or country. Lastly, they stated that not only does Ethiopia share a border with Somalia but also share a common language, culture, and destiny thereby making their destiny intertwined and inseparable.