Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh has officially launched the expansion of the DP World Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT), located 10km south of the capital, and the construction of a livestock terminal and port in the town of Damerjog in the Arta region of Djibouti.

Aimed at relieving the Port of Djibouti, the development of the Doraleh terminal will add a 4,130m, 15-berth quay to the existing infrastructure, doubling the annual handling capacity to 60 million tonnes of cargo, or three million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) containers.

“In its first phase, the port will have a length of 1,200m with seven berths, including a roll-on/roll-off berth and six versatile docking stations that can accommodate ships with cargo reaching 100,000 tonnes,” Abubaker Mohamed Hadi, CEO at the port authority, told Sabahi.

“These seven berths of the first phase will handle about 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.”

Doraleh Container Terminal was opened in 2008 in a joint venture between the Djibouti Government and Dubai’s DP World, which also operates the Port of Djibouti. Doraleh is already the third largest container port in Africa, and the most technologically advanced.

The $300m expansion will be built in two phases, and is expected to be completed by 2015.

Damerjog livestock port then involves the construction of a 675m-long terminal that can accommodate up to five specialist ships and a five-hectare transit holding area for cattle.

Hadi notes: “The economic impact in terms of earnings from exports will represent about $500m per year, with only $70m invested in the Damerjog livestock port.”

Guelleh visited the two ports accompanied by Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, the former CEO of Dubai’s DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and representatives from Ethiopia and South Sudan. The projects are being funded by the China Merchants Group.

Djibouti is also planning to increase refined oil storage at Doraleh by one-third by mid-2014 and to build a facility to handle crude shipments after signing a memorandum of understanding with South Sudan in 2012 on construction of an oil pipeline.

There are also plans for a $180m port at Tajourah to handle mineral and potash exports from Ethiopia, also to be operational by 2015, and a port in Ghoubet for the export of salt.