Maritime commerce is considered a cost-effective and efficient way to transport large quantities of goods across long distances. 40% of seaborne exports from Africa entail crude oil with nearly 20% of imports made up by petroleum products and gas. While 4% of the world’s trade containers are handled by African ports, a gap exists between Africa’s ports and global port trade trends and standards. In this respect, several countries across the continent are focused on improving port infrastructure, with the top five port projects having been identified.
The Port of Durban: $7 Billion
The upgrade of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest port, the Port of Durban, would require approximately $7 billion over a decade with the port masterplan now in the final consultation stage. The project is part of the reform agenda for the national bulk freight company, Transnet, under the authority of the Ministry of Public Enterprises to expand capacity for container handling from 2.9 million units to 11 million. Upgrades in the pipeline include three focus areas, namely, the infilling of Pier 1 and Pier 2; the deepening of the Maydon Wharf Channel; and building a new container terminal. Durban Port’s geographical location makes it a prime position for the transportation of containerized cargo to key geographic areas.
El Hamdania Port Development: $6 billion
Located in the coastal town of Cherchell, Algeria, the El Hamdania Port Development represents the country’s first deep-water port. The $6 billion project includes the construction of a deep-water seaport with a capacity to handle 6.5 million containers with 27.5 million tons of general cargo annually. A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Algerian Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the China Harbour Engineering Company to develop the project.
Dakhla Atlantic Port Complex: $1.7 billion
Situated on Morocco’s Atlantic coastline, the Dakhla Atlantic Port Complex is 60 km from the city of Dakhla and aims to connect Africa and Europe. The $1.7 billion development is expected to be operational by 2028, intending to accommodate 2.2 million tons of trade in its first year of operations. Construction commenced in December 2021 by two Moroccan construction giants namely, Societe Generale des Travaux du Maroc and SOMAGEC.
Barra do Dande Port Development: $1.5 billion
Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol, plans to construct the Barra do Dande port, located approximately 60 km from Angola’s capital, Luanda. The $1.5 billion port project is designed to include a solid bulk terminal, liquid bulk terminal, container terminal, multi-use terminal and petroleum support zone. Under a public-private partnership arrangement, Atlantic Ventures was awarded a 30-year concession contract and Odebrecht appointed as main contractor for the Oceanic Terminal. Through the port development, Angola will be expanding its oil and gas storage capacity and export volumes.
Ain-Sokhna Port Docks and New Berths Development: $1.3 billion
Affiliated with Egypt’s Suez Canal Economic Zone (SC Zone), the Ain-Sokhna port is located in the Red Sea and serves trade movement between south and east Asia, south and west Europe as well as north Africa. The $1.3 billion port project intends to convert Sokhna’s industrial area into a global petrochemical core. Construction commenced in January 2022, which includes a 14 km internal road and 10 km railway, which will be linked to the Ain Sokhna–Alamein City high-speed passenger and freight railway.
Honorary Mention: Ndayane Yenne Port: Approximately $1 billion
The government of Senegal, in partnership with Dubai based logistics company, DP World, have commenced construction of the Ndayane Yenne Port. Located 50 km from the Port of Dakar, the $1.13 billion port development is regarded as DP World’s largest port investment in Senegal. The port development will be implemented in two phases, with the first phase set to include a container terminal with 840 meters of quays and a 5 km marine channel. The second phase includes the development of an additional 410-meter container quay.