Thursday, October 29, 2015

Free Zone for Logistics Planned by Multimodal Freight and Container Handling Specialist

International Airport the Site of New Development
Shipping News Feature
UAE – SENEGAL – The policy of backing up the multimodal freight facilities offered at the foreground of its port and container terminal facilities with logistics parks seems to be at the heart of DP World’s development plans. Witness its projects at home in Dubai, on the banks of the River Thames at the London Gateway, and, more lately, in the Dominican Republic. Also, as part of the UAE's effort to boost relations with countries around the globe, and African nations in particular, DP World has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Senegalese government to build and develop such a logistics ‘free zone’ in the vicinity of the new Blaise Diagne International Airport, not far from the DP World-Dakar Terminal in the outskirts of Senegal’s capital city.

HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and also Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), expects the new logistics free zone to be one of the most advanced and well-organised free zones in Africa and globally, using the world’s latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology in the operation and management of the zone. The project is also intended to add new jobs for Senegalese workforce, which would further boost economic growth and social welfare in the country. The DP World boss observed:

“Investing in the construction and development of the logistics free zone in Blaise Diagne International Airport of Senegal is a new opportunity for us at DP World and PCFC to move forward with the enactment of the vision aiming to support growth and development in friendly countries.

“The new logistics ‘free zone’ complements DP World’s leading investments in DP World-Dakar Terminal, which stands as West Africa’s largest and most modern container terminal after a new terminal was built in the facility in November 2011, doubling capacity to over 600,000 TEU. As a vital gateway to Senegal’s and West Africa’s growing trade and business sectors, DP World-Dakar has created more than 200 jobs for local Senegalese people, specialised training has been given to those terminal employees to level up their skillset and bring operational efficiencies in line with DP World’s global standards.”

Blaise Diagne International Airport has itself seen a troubled birth. Originally due to open as long ago as 2011 there have been a series of delays after disagreements between the Saudi Bin Laden group and local authorities over payments. Opening has been rescheduled several times with the official opening date now moving back to 2016 and the developers cost having risen to a reputed €400 million from an overall total exceeding €560 million.