ABIDJAN, March 27 (Reuters) – Djibouti’s port authority is in talks with French shipping company CMA CGM to develop a new $660 million container terminal and hopes to award the concession in July.
Aboubakar Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), told Reuters the project could break ground as early as September with construction expected to take 24 months.
“We are going to build DICT, Doraleh International Container Terminal. This is a new plan,” Hadi said in an interview on the sidelines of the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. “We are in discussions with CMA CGM.”
Hadi said the port authority was not in talks with any other potential partners. CMA CGM did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hadi added that DPFZA was ready to end a dispute with DP World over its cancellation of a concession contract for another facility, the Doraleh Container Terminal, by buying out DP World’s 33 percent stake.
Djibouti ended the contract with the Dubai state-owned port operator last month, citing a failure to resolve a dispute that began in 2012.
DP World has called the move illegal and said it had begun proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared the company of all charges of misconduct over the concession. (Reporting by Joe Bavier; Additional reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Aaron Ross and Susan Fenton)
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