................May 30th, 2010
(HornTrade) – Eritrea has launched a drive to revamp its ports of Massawa and Assab. These ports have been left languishing after the rupture of relations with Ethiopia cut Eritrea out of the picture and Ethiopian cargo moved to neighbouring Djibouti.
The Ports Rehabilitation Project (PRP) is designed to substantially increase the productivity and capacity of both Massawa and Assab ports. Already, there seems to be signs of improvement as the combined number of ships rose by 22% last year: 273 ships called at the port of Massawa with cargo amounting to around 550,000 tonnes.
The project comprises civil works for Massawa, such as repairs, rehabilitation, and extension of berths. There has also been a recent renovation of the fuel jetty landing in Hirgigo costing USD$160,000 and a new jetty is expected to start operations in 2011 with an outlay of over USD$33m.
Further, cargo handling equipment is to be purchased for both Massawa and Assab, while facilities will be dedicated to improve the operating practices at the two ports.
The State of Eritrea received credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and a grant from the European Union toward the cost of the Eritrean Ports Rehabilitation Project.