FOLLOWING recent reports that shipping lines Pacific International Lines (PIL) of Singapore and French shipping giant, CMA CGM, are in talks with Djibouti to develop ports in Doraleh, port operator DP World has come out with a public statement asserting that its rights to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) remain in force.
DP World has warned other terminal operators against involving themselves at the Port of Djibouti following its eviction from the facility, reports UK's Container Management.
The Dubai-headquartered port opertor was removed from Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) by the Djiboutian government earlier this year but DP World said that the concession agreement remains valid, and as such it still holds exclusivity rights at the facility.
In a statement DP World said: 'Take notice that DP World and DCT are the lawful holders of rights in respect of the ownership and operation of the container shipping terminal at Doraleh, Djibouti, and will pursue all available legal recourse, including claims for damages, against any other entities that tortiously interfere or otherwise violate their rights with respect to the Concession Agreement.
'The Concession Agreement was recently upheld as a valid and binding contract under English law by a distinguished tribunal of arbitrators under the auspices of the London Court of International Arbitration or LCIA, which rejected the Government of Djibouti's attempt to rescind the Concession Agreement based on false allegations of corruption.'
The Djiboutian government cited DCT's poor performances when it seized control, and has claimed it had the legal right to assume management.
Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), Aboubakar Omar Hadi, told Reuters that the government was in talks with CMA CGM about the construction and management of a new terminal at the Port of Djibouti.
Mr Hadi said the new Doraleh International Container Terminal would add 2.4 million TEU to the facility, bringing the total to 4 million TEU, with an initial cost of US$600 million.
He also said DPFZA hoped to award the concession for the new facility by July and added that the authority wished to buy out DP World's 33 per cent share in DCT to avoid further arbitration proceedings.