The government of Djibouti has rubbished DP World’s claims that it illegally seized the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) and said it had the legal right to assume management.
The government has hit back at DP World’s assertions and said it assumed operations at the terminal in light of its recent poor performances and to “rectify irregularities in the agreement covering its operation”.
In a statement the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) said: “Contrary to the statement released by the Government of Dubai, the agreement was not for DP World to design, build and operate but for a joint venture between DP World and Port Autonome International de Djibouti.”
According to DPFZA, DP World has a 33.3% stake in the terminal, with Djibouti’s port authority owning the rest.
Since 2008, DCT has only achieved 57% of its total capacity according to DPFZA, which also claimed DP World developed other ports in countries close to Djibouti and employed “aggressive tactics” such as deliberately slowing down operations at DCT in favour of their main terminal in Jebel Ali.
DPFZA said the original deal with the operator contained a number of irregularities, and claimed it has been trying to negotiate these with DP World for six years.
At one point DP World agreed to sell its 33.33% stake in the terminal to Djibouti, but the government alleges this deal included restrictions on Djibouti developing new ports.
DPFZA said this condition posed “a serious threat to Djibouti’s national sovereignty” and rejected the deal.
DCT has now been placed under the authority of the Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company (DCTMC), a fully state-owned company.