In yet another move to expand its influence in Somalia, the DP World and Somalia’s State Government of Puntland have signed an agreement for the expansion and upgrade of the Port of Bosaso in northeastern Somalia. It becomes the second port after Berbera in the Somali peninsula to be under the DP World’s management.
The agreement entails a 12-month project, which includes the development of an approximately 500-foot-long pier, as well as repairs to the current 700-foot quay. Other infrastructure projects include the development of a new 33,000-square-foot container yard and a 43,000-square-foot container stripping yard. The gate area to the port will also be expanded to improve the port’s accessibility. The project is expected to start in early 2023.
Once complete, the Port of Bosaso will have capacity to handle container vessels. In addition, it will be in a position to attract direct calls from feeder vessels from Dubai and other regional hubs. The Puntland government also wants to turn Bosaso into an important hub for dhow transport serving the Somali coast.
“The expansion and upgrade of the Port of Bosaso is key to Puntland’s economic growth, which will benefit not just the people of the state, but also Somalia and the Horn of Africa. It will ensure the region is further integrated into the global trade ecosystem, as a bigger, more efficient port with the ability to receive container vessels, will facilitate increased trade,” said Ahmed Yaasiin Saalah, Puntland’s Minister of Ports and Maritime Transport.
With the shipping industry slated to remove the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA) effective January 2023, confidence to invest in Somalia’s shipping industry has gone up.
Since taking over Berbera in 2016, DP World has expanded the quay by over 1,300 feet, established a new container terminal, and recently launched Berbera Economic Zone. The free zone exempts traders and businesses from taxation from re-exports and allows them to employ foreign labor.
These projects are part of a broader resurgence of investment in the region. Recently, local businessmen have invested over $180 million in the development of a new seaport in Garacad, located in the northeastern Mudug region of Puntland. In October, Garacad Port officially opened for business with the first ship docking at the port.
In the early 2000s, Garacad had captured the world headlines for the wrong reasons, as it became a de facto capital for pirates off the coast of Somalia. These new developments are seen as a further demonstration of Somalia’s persistent efforts to shake off its past reputation as a country of pirates.