THE most exciting, most tempting and the largest single project involving a foreign company since independence is going to be carried out in Massawa by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC).
According to CHEC, Eritrean Ambassador to China Tseggai Tesfazion and CHEC Vice President Lin Yichong formally signed the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) general contract on January 28, 2014 for Massawa New Port Project at the company’s headquarter.
With a contract amount of nearly $400 million and a construction period of 40 months, the Phase I Massawa New Port Project involves mainly the design and construction of a 70,000t bulk cargo terminal and a 50,000t multi-purpose terminal; construction of the corresponding port area and incoming road, goods yard, office facilities and inspection area and so on; supply of such supporting facilities and equipment as power supply, water supply and drainage, communication, navigation and auxiliary tug; the installation and debugging of them; and supply of such services as technical training related to trial operation.
On numerous occasions, the Eritrean president stated about a “huge” port construction and upgrading project plans but delayed due to other pending priorities.
The development of the mining industry in the country continually demands the expansion and improvement of road and energy infrastructures. The new ore-processing unit that was built alongside the main port in Massawa is serving as the country’s lone ore terminal for bulk exporting of minerals.
With two more mining companies entering into production in 2015 and early 2016 through direct shipment of ore (DSO), the need to build additional bulk cargo terminal and another multi-purpose terminal to ease congestion on the main port is a necessity.
The Eritrean Ministry of Public Works is the project client.
CHEC is involved in a number of port projects around the world, including construction of a container wharf at Venezuela’s Puerto Cabello and the Walvis Bay Container Terminal Project in Namibia.