Berbera Port Ready for Ethiopian Container Traffic in 16 Months: Somaliland FM

Amid congestion at a facility in neighboring Djibouti, landlocked Ethiopia wanted 30% of its trade to go via Berbera.

somaliland Berbera Port
DP World signs a $442m joint venture with Somaliland to ‘invest and manage’ Port of Berbera with the aim of transforming it into a regional and logistic hub. Landlocked Ethiopia welcomes the unexpected opportunity that opened a second door besides Djibouti ports.

By Walta Info,

The Republic of Somaliland has said that it will open the old port of Berbera, which is currently undergoing renovation to be an alternative port for Ethiopian container traffic within a maximum of 16 months period.

Last year, DP world, Dubai’s biggest port developer won a deal to jointly undergo the expansion work for the port of Berbera with Somaliland, at a cost of 442 million dollars.

At time during which the deal was reached, Ethiopia highly welcomed it and wanted to cooperate with Somaliland, a self-declared break away from Somalia bordering Ethiopia to the south east.

Somaliland foreign minister Dr. Saad Ali Shire told Walta Information Center that the developer redesigned the port to have modern facilities and changed the previously general cargo terminal to container terminal.

“The port is an excellent opportunity for Ethiopia to use for import and export.

Because the distance from Berbera port to Addis Ababa is the same as Addis Ababa far-off from Djibouti port. The road, which links Berbera to Addis Ababa, is an advantage,” the minister said.

Though Ethiopia already employed the port, according to him, the volume shuttled is insignificant and it is used for mainly that of food aid import.

Dr. Saad Ali Shire, Foreign Minister of Somaliland

“The main barrier is the facility at the port; the port has not been built to handle container traffic. It has been mainly designed to handle general cargo. And most of the traffic today is containers. That is why the Dubai developer comes in to expand it to be container terminal. We agreed with the developer to make it container terminal and able to handle container traffic from Ethiopia,” he explained.

According to him, the price of the port will be completive and based on free market in which any Ethiopian business men could choose Berbera or Djibouti port depend on the “economics”.

But, he said Berbera will adjust itself to be competitive to attract container traffic from Ethiopia.

Located 937Km east of Addis Ababa, the Port of Berbera is seen by Addis Ababa as the second nearest port to serve its growing volume of cargo in addition to the congested port of Djibouti. Nearly 98 percent of Ethiopia’s import and export cargo is shuttled via port Djibouti.

74 thoughts on “Berbera Port Ready for Ethiopian Container Traffic in 16 Months: Somaliland FM

  1. Brain less weyane they could’ve used our ports for almost free and Tesfa News Do you have any update on the Massawa Port Expansion project?

      1. if isu wanted to invade ethiopia he would have done so when Addis abeba was liberated from mengstu by eritrean fighters and handed it to weyane. cos eritrean people fought for their sovereign liberation not to occupy ethiopia.

          1. You called it invade but according to the border commission the “flash”points were awarded to Eritrea and you are still sitting on it…i wonder which one fits your invasion claim….?

          2. The commision said invasion not me..”Consequently, the Commission holds that Eritrea violated Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations by resorting to armed force to attack and occupy Badme, then under peaceful administration by Ethiopia, as well as other territory in the Tahtay Adiabo and Laelay Adiabo Weredas of Ethiopia, in an attack that began on 12 May 1998, and is liable to compensate Ethiopia”
            ” …Although the evidence regarding the nature of Ethiopian armed forces in the area conflicted, the weight of the evidence indicated that the Ethiopian defenders were composed merely of militia and some police, who were quickly forced to retreat by the invading Eritrean forces. Given the absence of an armed attack against Eritrea, the attack that began on 12 May cannot be justified as lawful self-defense under the UN Charter. “

    1. Thank God. Hopefully, now the Ethiopians would stop salivating over our ports. However, it is hard to find cure for greed. So, we should not be complacent.

    2. Good for them, they just should leave us alone, leave from our Eritrean territories. We will see if Somalia as whole, the most unstable government and Somali land UN unrecognised country is reliable partner for Ethiopian unpopular minority government who is also unstable. I find it very funny, It must be the joke of the year. Some years ago they have been saying the same thing about Kenyan port of Mombasa. If they are really interested other neighbouring countries ports that bad why they hell are still waiting and asking for Eritrean ports.. Something tells me that They know deep down none of its neighbours reliable and stable. Even Djibouti who have military base of many major countries, is not reliable partner, who are willing for the highest bidder. That is why Ethiopian unpopular minority government trying to put their breads in many basket.

  2. Is the Ethio-Somaliland route safe and secure? Building/expanding the port is one thing, getting the trucks/goods in and out is another.

    1. BTW, I asked this Q b/c I remember reading report by US NGO a few month ago that stated the Ethio-Djibouti road is so poorly constructed that lives and goods are lost resulting from road accidents. It also said goods get hijacked by organized groups; drivers get killed by anti TPLF groups; unless escorted by Ethio military, their trucks don’t travel at night; these some of the stuff I remember from the report. I will try to find the report.

      So, given the high security issue in Somalia, from the likes of Shabab, I wouldn’t think the Ethio-Somaliland route to be better than that with Da-Booty.

      1. There isn’t even a road from berbera to Addis Abba, the road from Mogadishu to Addis Abba was build by the Italians when they colonised both Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea.

        1. dude. there is a new asphalt ‘addis abebe-harer-jijgiga-hargessa-berbera port asphalt road. just go to google earth. in fact, the road to moqadisho is not asphalt and moqadiso is way far from addis abeba and unlikley to be take as alternative port for ethiopian goods. berebera is no loctated at the same ‘safe’ somali zone of northern somalia…

        2. You make my day the last Lord today but My worry goes to Tigria that they think the road is safe between Tigria and Somaliaaa-Land which is is’nt.

        3. btw, berbere is just only about 300km from diredawa, where the main railstation to djibutee is loctaed. so, in addition to the current asphlat road; it might not be far before berbere is connected to diredawa and via it to addiss by a railway. the area from diredawa to berbere is just a flat desert land so the construction of a railway will be very easy and cheap…

          1. So you want to kill Ethiopia trucks drivers? Al shabab are active in Somaliland, that’s where two of their leaders came from and also there’s the ONLF and top of Somali National army is already building a base and could easily kill your starving Ethiopia truck drivers or even jail them for entering the country without visas.

          2. That is my concern too. This Berbera port thing will have a greater security challenge before it even started. Trucks will be easy targets for ONLF rebels as it s impossible to man the over 300 km with soldiers. That is Impossible. ONLF can kill this project by attacking these trucks at every desert junction. That is why I always say peace should come before development.

          3. First of there’s no road from Berbera to Addis Abba but what you have is bush road through the jungle which is a hiding place for all shabab, anti Ethiopia Somali rebels or tribal rebels and even the Somali youths carry ak47 and rob people and also the Somali National army which is building a base, so clearly this path is not save let alone someone carry goods.

          4. I think you made your point with facts. But don’t be surprise if they go along with this crazy plan. As you know, TPLF central committee (Marxist Leninist Tigray) have this theory that says: if you build it, they will come. Technically, it was campaign rhetoric of Teddy Roosevelt, not a theory at all, but the Woyanes turned it to an economic thought; go figure, LOL.

  3. Berbera port the Somaliland’s Strategic city and source of National income, the most of regional powers has many interest specially Ethiopia one of the most power full in Horn of Africa. so i believe Somaliland rulers already welcomed it.

  4. Who would’ve thought one day the Amharas will be begging the Somalis for their ports? Djibouti and Somalia are one united Somali nation.

    1. Not Somalia but Sumaliland….i guess you keep on arguing but the fact remain the port is in Somaliland and the agreement is with the Somaliland government not “Somalia”

  5. One stupid but PERMANENT mistake and now look how Woyane thugs are coughing billions … sniffing around neighbor’s backyard for any abandoned ports …. what a bunch of headless chickens! What is more gratifying than seeing them bleeding dry in search of cheap ports? ኢድ ሸናሒት ጸናሒት

    1. I know it’s convenient to think that way but didn’t I explain to you our goods has markups to cover our port cost? And add the electricity to that equation, its actually a net gain but what do I know, UAE with shabo might have better intel than our own, stay tuned as we celebrate UN seat next week.

        1. Djibouti electric consumption is at 33 million as of last fiscal year but also factor in Kenya as well as Sudan, also buying electricity. We were spending 690 million for the port before the railway, depending on the fiscal year, it went upto 732 but took the average. Most of the cost doesn’t come from shipping but logistics, untimely cargos, weak labor force, no enough empty containers, lack of tech and storage. The railway literally took all the burden away cuz it’s easy transportation, less fuel for trucks and no more storage which cut that price in half. If I’m not mistaken, can be wrong but we were paying 300 million for Assab not “free” but our exports weren’t what it is today. Correct me if I’m wrong but that the math.

          1. “The AfDB has been an active partner in implementing the connection by providing USD 95 million for the project. The 283-km Ethiopia-Djibouti transmission line was officially inaugurated in October 2011. The 230-kV line, enabling Djibouti to import up to 60 MW of electricity, is estimated to be earning Ethiopia at least USD 1.5 million per month [USD 18 million per year], and has eased Djibouti’s reliance on fossil-fuel power plants and generators.”

            Djibouti is simply a tiny market and this electricity export from Ethiopia may last only until it develops its new found geothermal potential. FYI, a Turkish company this week drills Djibouti’s first Geothermal borehole and there was a big celebration out there. Even the finance minister went on twitter to celebrate. [check his tweet and the video he posted below]

            The company said It could take two years to fully develop the geothermal power plant and I am afraid, tiny Djibouti will be self sufficient with its own cheap geothermal power supply. Kenya already discovered huge geothermal energy will be self sufficient (if not mistaken) in three years. The way I see it, your only customer for the time being is Sudan and probably South Sudan (note: till Egypt finished building the promised power plant on the Nile – google if you doubt me on this). Combined, they may generate less than $100 million a year. That is like a peanut for a $5 billion dollar project – not even enough to pay the interest.


          2. Here is my intervention in this interesting discussion:-

            – Do you know your Ethiopia’s current debt exceeds $42 billion?
            – Do you know Ethiopia borrowed $4.2 billion from China @ 1.2% interest to build the new railway from Djibouti?
            – Even from the above example, AfDB loaned Ethiopia $95 million to built a 60MW transmission line to Djibouti, while Djibouti only pays around $20 million per annum for uninterrupted power supply.

            Now if we let our head do the math, at a revenue of only $20million per year, Ethiopia will need a minimum five years to pay back the $95 million loan plus interest. In other words Ethiopia will start to earn income in about 8 – 10 years since maintenance and running the transmission incures cost too.

            The same is true for $4.2 billion dollar railway and God knows when and how you guys will repay it since your government is in a crazy borrowing spree on all the projects that only return profits after a decade or so.

          3. You sound like one of these tea party people but let me explain since you are doing some shady math. A debt to GDP is a common tool used to measure the level of indebtedness of a country, ours sits at 23%, 60% being problematic.Ethiopia credit ratings done by Moody’s and Fitch as well as S&P(please don’t call them woyane) is B and B+, very good that is. The sectors the debt is invested on rank at the top of necessity and return scale, that what’s important. Not to mention, Ethiopia public external public debt is owed by enterprises like EEPCO, Tele, Sugar plants etc make up the gov guaranteed debt stock.

          4. Sentiko, you forgot the most important factor in Port Cost, which Productivity vs Chewing Chat. How many ugumesh end up dying because Food Aid is stuck in port of Djibouti?

          5. I completely agree on chewing chat, it’s truly a recipe for killing the youth. I thought Addis was bad till I saw these idiots, for that I kind of miss your people. On my people dying, we actually released a blue print on how to save lives and grow while in drought. The NGO’s seems to love it so far IQ.

        2. Well Adal is correct to argue about the IQ case, look at this sentence
          “….that way but didn’t I explain to you our goods has markups to cover our port cost? And add the electricity to that equation,”
          zero sum zero, typical woy-ane IQ business speak.

      1. this is when “just when you think you are smart”..”our goods are marked up to cover our port cost” any trader will know that but we are talking about the extra….so the mark up is on top of the mark up to cover the usual expense and make profit? no wonder inflation is rife…think before you reply…sintiku. And interested to see what you will do with the “UN” seat…..mark down Shabo? gather enough signature to gang up against Eritrea? we will stay tuned.

        1. Brish, I just gave you real numbers to prove to you and maybe our own extreme fools, port is useful only when you have a working economy. In you case, it’s not working but I will let UAE decide what they want to do with it. UN on the other hand, we have bigger fish to fry since shabo is contained for now. The only thing we are asking ourselves, will Egypt gets its ways and create another Hamid Idris or they will learn to live with GERD, that’s yet to be seen.

      1. I think I speak for majority of Eritreans when I say we would rather not see ANY kind of deals made with woyane, ever!!! Period. So, no frustrations here. In fact, we couldn’t be happier for our Somali brothers if they generate income and develop their country.

  6. For your information

    Five new UNSC non-permanent members will start their terms starting NEXT WEEK on 1 Jan 2017: Bolivia, Ethiopia, Italy, Kazakhstan, and Sweden. Egypt has ONE more years.

      1. Ethiopia can not do anything by its own at the UNSC since it has only ONE vote (to abstain), and unfortunately abstaining its lone vote may not bring any difference anyway. The game plan is, Eritrea already started diplomatic relation with Kazakhstan ahead of time, last month and now Italy is on board along with Egypt, Senegal, China and Russia. Given Ethiopia’s conflict of interest when it comes to Eritrea, it has ZERO chance of being a pen holder, i.e. to write or sponsor any kind of draft resolution by its own. Just wait and see how things unfold at the end of April 2017.

        UK, France and USA are always on the same page, meaning if the U.S. doesn’t want the sanction lifted, the others will go along that line – typical sock puppets. With Trump administration only four weeks away, we are glad to see the bitch Rice kicked out of office, for good, and by extension, the end of her personal, 8-years sabotage against anything Eritrea. Isn’t that awesome by itself?

        Back to the Security Council, the consensus among UNSC member states is why the “blanket sanction” if the UN already vindicated Eritrea of any wrongdoing on Somalia for the past five years and counting? The usual suspects are against TOTAL LIFTING of sanctions, of course, but not in total disagreement to a “partial lifting” of the sanction and that is exactly why they are going to convene on April 31, 2017. So what will the Woyane do to that? Of course, they will vote against it. Does that bring any difference? Well, from where I see it, it doesn’t … since it is not a veto!! Prove me wrong by April 31st. Till then, so long.

        1. Since you have been romantisizing the incoming Trump administration too much, I hate to break it to you but you are in for a huge disappointment. Trump’s non-intervention policy means no pressure on Woyane to give-up Badme. As far as Trump is concerned, the Woyanes can occupy it until the end of the world. pfdj has been at war for 8 years with the Obama administration for lack of pressuring Ethiopia to vacate badme.
          Can you do us favor and ask the pfdj central office how they plan to behave with the new Trump administration?

          1. Even, I will assure you there is not expectation from Trump. So your statement on disappointment is wrong.

            If I may, I also would like to correct you that Trump actually wants the US to dominate the world. Yeap, that’s what he said, even though he also said he wants to see less US military intervention in foreign affairs. These were his confusing campaign talking points, of course. Now, the fact that he’s nominated several retired generals to his cabinet, it is clear where he stands on this – same all stuff.

            Additional info for you, Trump cares about his hotels and he’s got a few of them in UAE. Moreover, Trump only cares about issues he is familiar with, anything else will be left to the hot shots he is hiring.

            My point, if you continue to think visitors of this site are stupid, you are misguided Sal Y.

            As for your PFDJ question, I will leave it to those whom it concerns.

          2. Did you just say ”Trump’s non-intervention policy means no pressure on Woyane to give-up Badme.”?

            A la woyane! If Trump doesn’t interfere in your ‘policies,’ sooner or later Bob Geldof will again be forced to sing ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’. As long as they feed you, they own you, Mr Dunce!

        2. Thank for sharing your thoughts on this. Now that you helped me think about it, I think Eritrea needs to push UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia to exert their influence on UK, France and US to help remove this unjust sanction. I know UAE and Saudi Arabia have a lot of influence on UK and France. I do think we should get something additional for our partnership with them. My two cents anyways.

          Thanks again

  7. Although I’m a little surprised to see Walta being used as a source on TN, will take that as a positive. 25 years ago, Ethiopia loosing Assab was seen as emotional as loosing your kid. Meles was quoted saying, “if we have money we have port”. In Ethiopian politics, it want just toxic but naming calling such as banda and not good Ethiopian. The common thinking was, Ethiopia can never grow to a point where more than one gate is not needed. 25 years later, our visionary has been vindicated as we witness the second gate getting an expansion, Somaliland dreaming of joint us, world powers coming to invest their money and cheap electricity paying it off. While we anticipate our third gate will open in the next five years, it would be interesting to see the kind of development that would emerge from shabo land. Will we have to go to free the underground prisoners or will you a wise leader, I pray for the wise one for the old time sake.

    1. Why didn’t you take us of your mind??!! just 4get Eritrea including our sovereign 2nd port city located in the south Red Sea On the Baba El Mandab & focus in what are you doing Amaharas & other fascist nationalist Ethiopians were Not happy to see Eritreans & Tigreans having peace so from day 1 after our independent were instigating hatred for us to let us fight & when now its almost over and will Never Ever things to go back again because Assab is already rented and Massawa also Tigreans are the most hit by this decision but their hatred & Jealousy of Eritrea is more than their Love for their country & people .
      Construction Of A Great Wall Of China Is Under Going So Soon Between Us & This Bustard Criminal Woyanes

  8. ተስፋይ መዓሾ · Edit

    ህግደፍ . ኣብኣ ድኣ ሕርር ትብላ እምበር . ኢትዮጵያ ንወደብ ዓሰብ ኣይትደልዮን ክትጥቀመሉ’ዉን የብላን። ካብ’ዛ ኣቲኽንኣ ዘለኽን መንቀራቕሮ ክትወጻ ፨ ሽጣራ ንኻልእክን በልኦ ።

  9. Ethiopia is planing to put a railway line from dreidawa to Berbera i he second GTP. It is 250 mile from dreidaw to Bberbera port. Putting the rail way line is going to be a good investment for Ethiopia and soamliland. This gives Ethiopia a third port out let connected to a neighboring country In the third GTP sudan and keny porsts will be connect to Ethiopia. The feasibility study to connect Addis with Khartoum is already complete and the to nations are on the planning stage of how to finance it. Ethiopia’s strategy peace but no war to its neighbor is pay off.

    1. The question is where is the money coming from? Do not tell me borrowing since you are already sinking inside a $42 billion debt. Remember the 7 sugar factory you promised to build in the GTP? How many of the Sugar factory you built five years after the GTP? ZERO. The Chinese won’t lend you on project that doesn’t involve Chinese labour and Chinese industrial products. If it was construction, they gladly throw the money since you are forced to agree to spend the money on Chinese product and machinery, from steel to correlated sheets, made in China. Else, no money. Sugar plantation doesn’t need Chinese labour or machinery at all. And so no Chinese money.

  10. Disgustingly dirty kidney sellers and italian slaves always talking about ethiopia. Plz help ur sons & daughtets raped by bedewin and rashaida …kizenamoch!!)

  11. the main advantage of the addition of the berbere port to the port industry in the region is it will allow an economic competition b/n djibutee and somaliland for control the port market from ethiopia.Djibutee will no longer have the monoply required to decide the price of port fees as it will be forced out of market if it decreases port fees above a certain threshold. But, Djibutee will still have some advantages as it is building another port at a cost of $500million is the port of Tadjoura, northern djibutee, which will soon be the undisputed port outlet to north ethiopia(tigray and amahra) unless eritrean ports of massawa and asseb are added to the equation. tadjoura will have more leverage over asseb just like djibutee will have over berbera becacuse of the rail construction underway to connect tadjoura with mekele and bahirdar…

      1. I like your competition leads to better deal, but you forgot the developer hence the deciding agent is the deciding factor. If Dubai is here and there, will it compete against itself? Anyhow, I wish the Ethiops to gain a favorable deal and look the other way for a change. The time has come for the Ethiopians to swallow the bitter pill and accept that Eritrea is gone and gone for good.

        1. dubai ports in no longer in charge of the port of djiibutee. it was kicked out of dijibutee a year ago if I am not mistaken. that was one of the main resons for the current tention b/n UAE nad djibutee. dubai ports investing in berebere is like to avenge djibutee…

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