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Al-Sarimah Intends to Sue Authorities, Aden Container Terminal Handed Over to DP World

  Written By: Moneer AL-Omari ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
November 03, 2008



The final delivery process of Aden Containers Terminal and Al-Mu'alla Sea Port between Gulf of Aden Port Corporation and Aden-Dubai Company for Ports Development, known as DP World, started last Saturday.

Minister of Transport Ibrahim Al-Wazir revealed that the delivery process comes in implementation of the partnership agreement signed between the Gulf of Aden Port Corporation and Aden-Dubai Company for Ports Development.

This comes amidst appeals by renowned Yemeni businessman Saleh Bin Fareed Al-Sarimah who represents Gulf and Kuwait Ports Company to cancel the deal which he considered to be a source for big corruption.

Al-Sarimah's appeals come after his company's bid for running Aden Containers Port was rejected, while Aden-Dubai Company for Port Developments was selected by the government to run the port without bidding.

Yemeni government, represented by Gulf of Aden Port Corporation, signed an agreement with DP World to operate and develop containers terminal in Aden's free zone.

The total partnership capital is $220 million and each party has 50 percent. It was agreed also to rent the land for 25 years but the contract is to be renewed every 10 years.

According to the agreement, the sites due to be rented and delivered are Aden Containers Terminal, Al-Mu'alla dock and other lands devoted for developing the port and mounting to 680 acres.

Further, the agreement states that the port should be exploited for handling general goods ships once there are no container ships. Sources revealed that rent revenues could reach $872 million. 

The first phase will be immediately launched at total cost of $200 million and will last for five years. The works include expanding containers storage facility, purchasing and installing lifting apparatuses and installing electronic network for operating the port. This will help expand the capacity of containers port to 900,000 containers, instead of 500,000 per year.

Similarly, the second phase costing $650 million will include constructing a new 900 meter berth so that the terminal would have five berth points that can contain the different container ships.

Further, equipments for handling containers will be assembled to expand the terminal's capacity to five million a year.

Meanwhile, the agreement has been widely debated by economists and experts who stress that the whole process was marred with corruption. It has also been debated by parliament as well.

Transport Ministry delivered the Aden Container Terminal to DP World without referring to parliament or approving the results of bidding which was won by Al-Sarimah Company.

For his part, Al-Sarimah sent a letter to President Saleh highlighting the importance of Aden Port and detailing the different unfair measures the Ministry of Transport took.

"Aden Port has a strategic location and should be in safe hands and run transparently. It is to be handed over shortly to Dubai Ports without any tendering since the two previous bids were aborted, because the results of which showed that Kuwait-Gulf Link (KGL) company won the bid as it presented the best offer," said the letter.

The letter continued that Yemeni economists, Ports specialists and Strategic Experts have been warning against the obvious conflict of interest between Aden Port and Dubai Ports, hinting this deal will not be in the interest of Yemen.

Concluding the letter, Al-Sarimah pointed out that he reserves the full right to sue those who are behind denying his company the right to the contract in accordance with the international norms.