The Hong Kong-based China Merchants Group has been a major contributor to Djibouti’s large-scale infrastructure projects. The Group acquired a 23.5% share in the Port of Djibouti and two-thirds of the rights to Doraleh Container Terminal for $185 million in 2013.
The Group has already, as a first phase, invested in building a livestock port at Damerjog, located in the Arta region, and in expanding the Doraleh Terminal in order to increase the current handling capacity by adding seven new births. The total investment for these projects is estimated to be $470 million. China Merchants Group’s continued partnership with the Djibouti government was ensured by a new agreement signed in March 2015. The result of the agreement was a massive $7 billion investment, to be implemented over the next ten years, for the construction of the Djibouti Free Trade Zone, the second phase of the expansion of Doraleh Terminal and a new shipyard in the town of Obock. The new free trade zone project will be the largest within the country, and will rapidly increase Djibouti’s secondary and tertiary sector activities as well as reduce the unemployment rate by creating more than 200,000 jobs.
The new port facility at Tadjourah will be Djibouti’s third sea port and will serve as the main base for Ethiopian potash exports. Ethiopian transit volumes make up the majority of Djibouti’s trade traffic and the port will increase these by 40%. Expected to be completed in late 2015, the port is also the main driving force behind several other projects which will help in the development of the northern regions of the country, including the construction of a railway line between Tadjourah and Mekele. The total investment in the project is $61 million, with the source of the funds being the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) and the Saudi Fund for Development, providing $36 million and $25 million, respectively.
Hassan Gouled Aptidon International Airport
The new airport will be constructed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) in the city of Ali Sabieh and is expected to be ready by 2018. Taking its name from Djibouti’s former president, the Hassan Gouled Aptidon Airport will be Djibouti’s tourism and cargo center, with a capacity of 1.5 million passengers and 100,000 tons of air cargo per year. The project will cost $600 million to complete and will also include the construction of a second airport in the north of the country.
Goubet Mineral Port
Goubet Port is one of the most specialized of Djibouti’s ports, dedicated to handling more than 5 million tons of salt and gypsum export from Lake Assal per year. An investment of $64 million has been secured in order to carry out the construction by the China Harbour Engineering Company.
Addis Ababa – Djibouti City Railway Line
The railway line project will connect Addis Ababa and Djibouti City passing through other major cities on the way, and will be the major transport link between Djibouti and landlocked Ethiopia. It will mainly handle general cargo. The project will include a total of 756 km of railway line, currently under construction, and will be completed by the first quarter of 2016. The project will cost the two countries around $3 billion, received on loan from the Chinese banking group Exim Bank.
|Mekele-Tadjourah Railway Line||$1,5B||2015-2016|
|Awash-Djibouti City Oil Pipeline||$1,400M||2016-2018|
|Ali Sabieh International Airport||$500M||2016-2018|
|Djibouti Shipping Company||$200M||2016-2018|
|Ras Siyan International Airport||$100M||2016-2018|