DP World, the Dubai company tasked with expanding the Somaliland port of Berbera, has commissioned the first Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHC) at the harbour.
The US$12 million three new cranes is expected to double productivity at the port, significantly reducing vessel turn-around time.
This is in addition to stabilising operations during monsoon season as well as providing safer and more secure conditions at the port, DP world stated.
The introduction of the MHCs is a landmark development by DP World Berbera, as the port will for the first time offer shoreside crane support, substantially improving vessel operations.
Suhail Al Banna Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of DP World Middle East and Africa, said: “The three mobile harbour cranes currently being commissioned are strategically important for the development of the Port of Berbera. They will enable more ships to be served at and ultimately increase the flow of trade to both the country and the region.
“As construction work for the expansion of the port progresses, we are witnessing a transformation in the capacity of this major infrastructure asset, benefiting people both here and across the Horn of Africa. DP World Berbera provides an effective alternative gateway to international markets and is proving beneficial to the people of Somaliland.”
The investment in the new cranes is the latest in a series of improvements to the Port of Berbera.
Since 2017, DP World has introduced state-of-the-art container handling equipment, vehicles and systems as part of its push to modernise the historic Berbera port.
This year, DP World launched the Zodiac Terminal Operating System, Oracle Finance System, and Maximo Enterprise Asset Management System to deliver faster and better services for shipping lines.
DP World Berbera staff are being trained to operate the cranes in Dubai as part of the local talent development program that provided training to more than 2,700 Somalilanders in 2018.
DP World launched the construction work on the development of the multipurpose Berbera port in the Republic of Somaliland after the ground breaking ceremony last October.
The first phase consists of building a 400-meter quay and 250,000-square meter yard extension as well as the development of a free zone to create a new regional trading hub.
DP World Berbera, the joint venture company between the company and the Somaliland government, will also serve land locked countries in the Horn of Africa such as Ethiopia which has a 19% stake in the project as a shareholder.
Shafa Al Nahda Contracting were awarded the construction contract for the port expansion. Shafa Al Nahda have been involved in the Port of Dakar expansion in Senegal as well the Port of Maputo expansion project in Mozambique, according to DP World.
DP World holds a 51 per cent stake in the Berbera port, while Ethiopia holds 19 per cent and Somaliland the rest.
The entire expansion project of the port will cost US$ 442 million.
By Odindo Ayieko