Yemen Post Staff
Operating better than expected, Aden Port is still under immense pressure and problems. Aden terminal, which is run by DP World, received and serviced this week one of the largest container vessels to call at the historic Yemeni port, the Kota Carum, but this has not been enough, and Yemenis are still outraged and angered.
Aden port that is among the strategic ports of the international shipping lines turned to be stuck between the rock the Yemeni regime’s carelessness and hard place of competition fears to DP world in the region.
The Port that many Yemenis were pinning hope on to develop Yemen’s economy has endured economic stagnation since the inking of a deal with the Dubai Port World in 2008.
Aden Port that has many advantages for shipping which helped to make it a regional distribution centre once was the main and most thriving port in the region. However, it currently witnesses paralysis state.
Yemeni analysts allege that DP World failed to meet articles of the contract signed with the Yemeni government, stressing that the company deliberately disturbed Aden port due its fears of competition DP world in the region.
They viewed that the agreement posed a real setback to the port, affirming that the ship movement decreased in the past few years after the port was run by DP World.
When DP World took over the port in 2008, the percentage of container handling was about 560,000 containers, the analysts said.
In 2011, the container handling declined to 160,000 containers with a loss of 400 containers, they added.
They suggested to form an international legal team that is able to terminate the contract of DP World and its partners, indicating that the team will be tasked to find out ways that could revive the port.
According to the contract, the company has to implement these articles: inject liquidity to expand the berth container, promote marketing plan in the port aimed to increase the DP containers to 200000 containers per year .
They citied that it failed to commit to the afro-mentioned articles.
According to the deal signed on 2008, DP World operates, develops the Aden Port, expand the depth of the container berth to 400 meters and increase its capacity to 900,000 containers.
The Transportation Minster, Waed Bazeeb, said the DP World failed to raise container capacity to 900,000 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) by the end of 2011, and build and provide infrastructure as specified in the 2008 agreement.
Ba-Dhaib affirmed that the deal was based on political objectives that did not take into account the economic and business feasibility.
He had previously told Reuters that the Dubai-based operator has failed to fulfill its obligations, pointing out that it failed to raise container capacity to 900,000 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs) by the end of 2011, and build and provide infrastructure as specified in the 2008 agreement.
The agreement provides that the container movement will be more than 1.5 containers annually and that the company purchases equipments with a value of $ 350 million, but that was not achieved.
Under terms of the agreement, DA World was supposed to enlarge the port and increase the capacity of the port with amount that exceeds $ 300 million. However, that was achieved.
However, the infrastructure of the port was deteriorated, Yemeni economists assert.
The Yemeni government has recently formed a ministerial committee that included ministers of transportation, foreign affairs, finance, legal affairs and industry and commerce with the aim of end the port’s problems.
According the Yemeni News Agency (Saba), the Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption (SNACC) approved the summoning of all officials tasked with implementing the deal with the aim of reviewing shortcomings of the implementation.
SNACC decided to follow up the commitment of the company to implement the deal in the form that achieve the higher interests of Yemen and ensure the taking of legal procedures toward any shortcomings.
Aden was one of the world’s biggest ports decades ago when steamers bound for the Suez Canal called in to refuel. Official data showed that the number of ships calling declined to 315 last year from 438 in 2008.
The advent of bigger ships meant fewer stops were required and Aden’s port diminished in importance.
Hit by global turmoil and piracy from neighboring Somalia, 2009 container traffic fell by 39 percent to 265,459 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs), a benchmark for transportation.
Yemenis hope to develop the port as a hub for East Africa and the Gulf as the city lies on a shipping Europe-Asia route and is home to most of Yemen’s oil industry.