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DP World set to develop Congo deep-water port


Last updated on May 9, 2021 at 04.41 pm
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Global ports operator DP World said on Sunday that it would start the development of the deep-sea port at Banana following an agreement with the Democratic Republic of Congo to amend its contract for a 30-year port concession.

DP World said the two sides had signed a term sheet summarizing the amendments following a review of some of the clauses signed in March 2018.

The Dubai-based global provider of end-to-end logistics solutions, however, did not disclose what the amendments were, but said they were made to better support President Felix Tshisekedi’s plans to develop the trade and logistic sector.

DP World said the development of Banana Port is expected to take two years. It did not specify when construction would begin.

DP World was awarded the concession to develop and manage the Atlantic Coast port in 2018 through a joint venture with the government.

At the time, DP World said it would hold a 70 per cent stake, leaving the remaining 30 per cent with the government. Construction was to start that year and be completed within two years

The term sheet summarizing the amendments to the contract was signed in Kinshasa by Guylain Nyembo Mbwizya, chief of staff to the head of state, and Suhail Al Banna, CEO and managing director of DP World, Middle East and Africa region.

Al Banna said 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 and the firm desire of DP World to be part of the President’s vision that will give the country strong, efficient and affordable access to international markets that will enhance its export capabilities.”

The ports operator said the objective of the amendments was to readjust the different obligations of the two parties under the project, to better support the vision of President Félix Tshisekedi, to develop the country’s trade and logistic sector. The port will be the DRC’s first deep sea port along its 37km coastline on the Atlantic Ocean.

“The development of the Banana Port will bring significant cost and time savings for the country’s trade, as it will attract more direct calls from larger vessels from Asia and Europe, and will boost not only the growth of the country’s economy, but also the region,” DP World said.

André Wameso, deputy chief of staff to the head of state in charge of economic and financial matters, said the deal materializes the promise of the President of the Republic to make the construction of the port of Banana one of the priorities of his mandate. “And, he wished for a contract that takes into account the interests of the DRC, which is now the case.”

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

Issac John Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.