Port of Berbera
|Port of Berbera|
Port of Berbera View.
|Operated by||Berbera Port Authority|
|Owned by||DP World, Somaliland Port Authority & Ethiopia|
|Managing Director||Ibrahim Eisa Alhammadi|
Berbera Port historically served as a naval and missile base for the Somali central government. Following a 1972 agreement between the Siad Barre administration and the USSR, the port's facilities were patronized by the Soviets. It was later expanded for US military use, after the Somali authorities strengthened ties with the American government.
As of 2013, the Port of Berbera has a 650-metre berth and a depth of 11.5–12 metres. It is strategically located along the oil route.
In July 2013, the Raysut Cement company of Oman announced that it is scheduled to build a new state-of-the-art cement terminal at the Port of Berbera. The construction project is part of a joint venture with Somali business partners. It will comprise three silos with a 4000 t capacity each, which will be earmarked for storage, packing and distribution of cement.
In May 2016, DP World signed a US$442 million agreement with the government of Somaliland to annex and operate a regional trade and logistics hub at the Port of Berbera Somaliland. The project, which will be phased in, will also involve the setting up of a free zone.
On 1 March 2018, Ethiopia became a major shareholder following an agreement with DP World and the Somaliland Port Authority. DP World holds a 51% stake in the project, Somaliland 30% and Ethiopia the remaining 19%. As part of the agreement, the government of Ethiopia will invest in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway for the inland country, which is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. There are also plans to construct an additional berth at the Port of Berbera, in line with the Berbera master plan, which DP World has started implementing, while adding new equipment to further improve efficiencies and productivity of the port.
The agreement comes as part of a larger government-to-government Memorandum of understanding between Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Government of the Republic of Somaliland to further strengthen their strategic ties. However, the agreement has stirred up debate with the main Somaliland opposition party, Waddani party arguing the agreement was between Somalia and the UAE, this claim was denied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Somalia stating that no evidence was produced indicating the Berbera port deal was signed with previous governments of Somalia.
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