UAE's Gulftainer wins Tripoli port deal

Port operator to invest $60m initially in concession to develop, operate new terminal

Sharjah-based port operator Gulftainer on Tuesday said it has been awarded the concession to develop and operate a new container terminal at the Port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon.

The concession will last for 25 years and start with a much needed initial investment of over $60m in new equipment and machinery, Gulftainer said in a statement.

The initial investment includes three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, nine yard cranes and the latest technology in other container handlers and yard management systems, it added.

The award of the contract is part of an infrastructure investment project for the surrounding area that will see many millions of dollars invested from both private and government sources.

Once complete, the new Gulftainer Terminal will be able to accommodate some of the largest container vessels operating in the Eastern Mediterranean, alleviating congestion at the Port of Beirut and providing an alternative to the beleaguered ports of Tartous and Latakia in Syria.

When complete, the Gulftainer Terminal in Tripoli will provide more than 300 new jobs .

Gulftainer's managing director, Peter Richards, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded the concession to manage the port of Tripoli and are now anxious to begin developing a strong partnership with the Port Authority.

"Gulftainer will be investing substantial resources and efforts into establishing what is required to improve performance levels and bring new business to the region."

Gulftainer said that through its in-house logistics company Momentum, it can now link Tripoli to its facilities in Umm Qasr Port, Iraq.

This represents the shortest distance across the Arabian Peninsula connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf avoiding the common choke points of the Suez Canal and Straits of Hormuz.

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