New facility to add 1.5 million teu of handling capacity in one of Africa's biggest port operations The third-biggest global port operator, DP World, which has logistics interests in Hong Kong and China, will invest US$300 million to develop a new container terminal in Doraleh, Djibouti. The facility will enable the company to handle an additional 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (teu) annually. Dubai-based DP World plans to start work in the next few months on the new terminal, 11km from the existing one. It is due to begin operating in late 2008 and will have eight super post-panamax gantry cranes and a 900-metre quay. 'This is part of our long-term strategy and DP World's investment in infrastructure is vital for Djibouti to support its hinterland and to benefit from its rapidly growing economy,' said Mohammed Sharaf, chief executive of DP World. DP World operates the Port of Djibouti, which has capacity for 10 million tonnes of cargo and 500,000 containers per year. Under DP World management, container productivity at the port has doubled to more than 25 moves per hour, among Africa's highest. The announcement of the new terminal follows DP World's $30 million investment in the Doraleh Oil Terminal project. The Djibouti government has contracted DP World to manage the terminal when completed. The firm has already announced plans for new container terminals at Yarimca, Turkey and Qingdao. It has a 39.55 per cent interest in and management contract for the nine-berth facility at Pusan Newport, South Korea, which has capacity of 5.5 million teu. DP World has 51 terminals in 30 countries around the world, and total capacity of more than 50 million teu per year, including the assets of British port and ferries operator Peninsular and Steamship Navigation Co (P&O), which it recently acquired. Meanwhile, the company has announced it will float a tender for the design of a US$450 million container terminal at the southern Indian port of Kochi. 'We will be issuing a tender in a couple of months,' Mr Sharaf said. 'Another tender for the project's main construction is also to be floated shortly.' DP World already has management control of Visakhapatnam port in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. It has also acquired three more container terminals - Nhava Sheva in Mumbai, Chennai port in Tamil Nadu and Mundra in Gujarat - through the P&O takeover. The fact that DP World is the country's single largest operator has raised concern among some Indian politicians recently. However, Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has defended the DP World deal, dismissing worries about the firm's market share. 'For its part, the Dubai-based port operator has assured us that it will not alter the equity structure of P&O-owned companies,' he said. Ganesh Raj, a regional director of DP World, said: 'We will not alter the equity structures of P&O-owned companies in India. This means that DP World will not violate any clause in concession agreements that have been signed between P&O and respective port trusts in the country.'