DP World Maputo, Mozambique, one of many ports worldwide that the company manages

DP World Maputo, Mozambique, one of many ports worldwide that the company manages

DP World seeks global influence

The ports operator is building business ties in diverse regions of the world and has the attention of heads of state in its bid to boost its investments and growth

July 2016

Global ports operator DP World clinched deals in Equador and Somaliland in recent weeks to develop terminals, boost container traffic and spur general trade in the regions surrounding the ports.

The company also held talks with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Somaliland and Argentina to explore new business opportunities.

In Ecuador, DP World won a 50-year concession to develop a greenfield multi-purpose port project at Posorja, 65 km from the country’s main business city of Guayaquil. Total investment will be $1 billion with the $500 million Phase 1 initial investment encompassing the purchase of land, dredging of a new access channel, a 20 km access road and a 400 m berth equipped to handle containers and other cargo. 

Construction is expected to start within the next six to nine months and take around 24 months to complete, resulting in capacity of 750,000 teu. The project will be implemented with DP World’s local partners, Consorcio Nobis and Grupo Vilaseca. 

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO, DP World, said: “We are delighted to extend our South American footprint with a major investment in Ecuador. The additional value it will bring to the economy is compelling, increasing competitiveness through the provision of modern container terminal services in central Ecuador.”

Bin Sulayem said Posorja would contribute to DP World’s continued growth in the developing markets of South America in the years ahead. The investment builds on DP World’s existing network in the region with terminals in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Suriname. 

Roberto Dunn, executive director, Consorcio Nobis, said DP World Posorja will offer Ecuadorean importers and exporters a unique deep-water alternative that will dramatically improve their competitiveness in world markets with the potential to transform the Ecuadorean economy.” 

He said the benefits would include access to 15 m draft compared to the current 9.75 m drafts at existing Guayaquil ports, additional capacity for the Guayaquil terminals which last year recorded throughput of over 1.75 million teu, close to their existing limits; innovative solutions for the world’s largest banana exporting country, access to global markets and a long-term expansion potential.


In Somaliland, with which DP World had signed an agreement to invest in Berbera Port, Bin Sulayem met with the President Ahmed Mahamoud to discuss business expansion and also visited the port.

The agreement, entailing setting up a joint venture company to invest in and manage the Port of Berbera, will enable it to achieve its potential for becoming a regional trade and logistics hub. The $442 million project will be phased over time and is dependent on volumes generated at the port. It will also involve the setting up of a free zone to help support the development of Berbera’s trade corridors. 

Bin Sulayem, said the Horn of Africa has been a trading partner of Dubai throughout history. “Investment in this natural deep-water port will attract more shipping lines to East Africa and its modernisation will act as a catalyst for the growth of the country and the region’s economy,” he noted. “Our global expertise in marine and inland terminals coupled with our free zone experience will enable Somaliland to develop and provide a benefit to society for the long term, creating employment for current and future generations.”

A modernised port of Berbera will complement DP World’s services in Africa where it employs around 4,000 people in facilities including the Doraleh terminal in Djibouti, the most technologically advanced container terminal on the African east coast. The company also has operations in Egypt, Algeria, Senegal and Mozambique.

At the St Petersburg Economic Forum, Bin Sulayem held cooperation talks with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The meeting focused on opportunities to expand on DP World’s exciting participation in the development of the Khorgos Eastern Gate Special Economic Zone and the Port of Aktau. Nazarbayev noted that DP World is a leader in its field and an important strategic partner for Kazakhstan. Bin Sulayem underlined DP World’s partnership with the country while expressing his interest in joint ventures in other locations around the world.  

Bin Sulayem said trade corridors such as the New Silk Way is part of DP World’s focus for investment.
Trade and investment opportunities in the New Silk Road are immense, connecting three continents and 65 countries.

In Buenos Aires, the DP World chief held talks with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri to discuss cooperation in the ports and cruise terminals sector. President Macri looked forward to building the partnership with DP World and granting a greater role for the global trade enabler to serve the Argentinian economy through its investments in ports and maritime services.

DP World’s plans to increase its container and cruise business in the Port of Buenos Aires featured in the discussions. DP World Buenos Aires has invested $250 million in the last 20 years and currently operates the Terminales Rio de la Plata (TRP) container terminal with throughput of 600,000 teu per year, 37 per cent of the market. The company’s Buenos Aires terminals also provide cruise capacity of more than 300,000 passengers a year. TRP is a joint venture in which DP World owns 55.62 per cent.

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