Major new deep-water port planned for Algeria

Port of Algiers

Port of Algiers

Back in 2011, the Algerian government had begun a tender process to identify suitable sites for its location for their proposed deep-water port as part of the country looking to bolster its port facilities in the face of rising foreign trade.

The Algerian Ministry of Transport has now made the construction of a new port top of the political agenda, as congestion continues to hamper operations at the country’s major ports with the regularity of delays and backlogs on the rise in the Algerian major ports.

Although the Government is looking at a number of sites for the new port, it is thought that in view of its easy geographical hinterland, the west side of the capital Algiers is the most likely location.  A timescale for the project has yet to be disclosed, according to IFW.

The plans will also include the commissioning of port equipment aimed at improving the terminal’s productivity.

It is worth mentioning that Algeria’s ten commercial ports handled over 120 million tonnes of cargo  mostly imports in 2010.

Algeria’s new commercial port to cost €2 billion

Back in July, Lloyds of London informed that the Algerian authorities have confirmed their intention to go ahead with a new commercial port and be made ready for construction along Algeria’s central coastline at a cost of close to €2 billion, the country’s Transport minister, Boudjema Talai, has revealed.

The port will be built in three phases, over a ten-year period, and will be located between the cities of Cherchell and Ténès, west of the capital, Algiers.

Speaking to the Algeria Press Agency, APS, Talai said the new trade gateway was urgently required in order to increase port handling capacity in central Algeria.

Port traffic is estimated to reach 35 million tonnes and to two million teu annually in this region according to long-term growth forecasts – a rise of 30% on the current volumes handled at the ports of Algiers and Ténès.

Talai underlined that the design and development studies for the project were still on-going, adding that it would not be state cash that would fund the project.

“On construction costs, we are studying other financing modes (than state investment), given the economic nature of port activity which generates growth. For the moment, my (ministerial) department rules out public sector funding,” he said.

However, it is not known if potential investors from the private sector have been identified or have expressed an interest in the project.

Initial plans for the new port make provision for it to cover an area of more than 1,000 hectares and be served by a maritime logistics zone extending over 300 hectares.

Last month, Lloyd’s Loading reported that commercial property developer APRC Group was investing €120 million in building a logistics hub at the foot of the French Pyrenées to facilitate trading links to the emerging North African economy,

Part of a wider plan to support and develop Algeria’s fledgling logistics capabilities, the multi-modal project makes provision for 141,000 sqm of bonded warehousing and is designed to serve as a distribution platform for shippers exporting to Algeria.

Algiers Harbour

Algiers Harbour

TSA Algerie reported today that Mr. Ibn-Boushaki, Director of the Merchant Navy and Ports at the Ministry of Transport, has excluded, this Wednesday, 4 November, any challenges to the realization of the project of this port because of difficulties related to the current economic crisis.  According to him, “it is a market server.  There is no financing problem.  It is a money generating project and it is immediately profitable,” he said on the airwaves of a local radio channel.

But Mr. Ibn-Boushaki gave no timelines on the launch date of the works of the project, explaining that “the works will begin when the financial issue is sorted out.  As a future grand harbour of the centre of the country, it will replace the currently saturated Algiers ports, and is located in Hamdania, in the governorate of Tipaza.  It will cover an area of 2,000 hectares and will be completed in 7 years instead of 10 years initially planned.  The future port will host “large ships” and “may even compete with other large ports”.