x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

DP World extends African port deal to 2033

DP World has reached an agreement with the government of Mozambique to extend the Dubai company's concession for the port of Maputo until 2033, with an option to operate it for a further 10 years.

DP World has reached an agreement with the government of Mozambique to extend the Dubai company's concession for the port of Maputo until 2033, with an option to operate it for a further 10 years. The concession will replace an earlier 10-year agreement under which DP World was to have operated the terminal between 2008 and 2018 and will help the port operator to continue its coverage in the fast-growing Africa region.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the chairman of DP World, said Africa was a key focus of the company's strategy for long-term growth "as we look to emerging markets to underpin the recovery of global trade". DP World is the world's fourth-largest port operator and has the most diversified portfolio of terminals worldwide among the top firms, with 49 terminals and 12 new developments in 31 countries. It operates seven terminals in five African countries - Egypt, Algeria, Djibouti, Mozambique and Senegal.

Maputo, on Africa's south-eastern coast, is a gateway to southern Africa's hinterland. The port links regional production, mining and commercial centres to the markets of South East Asia, DP World said, and is the main shipping terminus for land-locked regions such as Gauteng province in South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Mohammed Sharaf, the chief executive of DP World, said the company was committed to expanding the capacity of DP World Maputo over time in line with market demand.

DP World holds the concession to operate the container terminal at the port, with DP World Maputo operating the terminal. Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Mocambique (CFM), Mozambique's ports and railway authority, holds a 40 per cent share of the operating company. This month, DP World is expected to reveal further details about its plans to acquire a second listing for its stock. In January, DP World said it was seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange to widen investor interest in shares that have struggled on NASDAQ Dubai.

igale@thenational.ae