DP World Takes Over Operations at Angola's Port of Luanda

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DP World raises its flag at Port of Luanda (DP World)

Published Mar 11, 2021 12:54 PM by Njiraini Muchira

Dubai-headquartered ports giant DP World has begun operations at the privatized multipurpose terminal at the Port of Luanda in Angola, another milestone in its Africa expansion strategy. The company, which is determined to expand its ports operations and investments in the continent, has started running the port after winning a 20-year concession in January.

The government of President João Louren intends to privatize more than 70 state companies over the next few years, including the port of Luanda. The Angolan government settled on established port operator DP World, which has proven experience in the sector. 

The terminal will be the eighth port facility managed and operated by DP World in its Africa and Middle East region. In Africa, the logistics giant has operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Somaliland, Rwanda, Algeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“I’m honored to lead and work with the team at DP World Luanda in the next phase of the terminal’s strategic development. Through leveraging our global expertise, technology and capabilities from across the supply chain, we’ll bring our best practices and systems to the terminal,” said Francisco Pinzón, DP World Luanda CEO.

DP World has committed to invest $190 million to rehabilitate the existing infrastructure and acquire new equipment to bring operations in line with global standards and improve the efficiency of the facility. Immediate investments will include the procurement of 30 trucks, six reach stackers, four empty container handlers and four forklifts.

The company also intends to incorporate new rubber tired gantry cranes (RTGs) to the terminal’s fleet, which will be the first of its kind to be introduced in Angola.

These investments are part of the broader aim of increasing the terminal’s annual throughput to about 700,000 TEU per year, enabling the port of Luanda to compete in the western and southern Africa region. The strategic location of the port of Luanda has made it attractive for stops on the sea routes along the west of the African continent, giving it the opportunity to benefit from existing trade flows.

The multipurpose terminal handles both containers and general cargo, and it has a 2000-foot pier, a 41-foot harbor depth and a yard space totaling about 55 acres. 

DP World’s forays into Africa have not been without controversies, with the most high profile being the termination of a 30-year concession for the operation of Doraleh Container Terminal in Djibouti. In terminating the deal, the Djibouti government argued that DP World’s operation of the terminal had proved to be contrary to the fundamental interests of the nation.

The matter is currently the subject of a long-running legal battle being handled by a tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration and the High Court of England and Wales