Cherchell, Algeria (PortSEurope) March 22, 2021 – The construction of the Algerian new commercial seaport of El Hamdania (near the town of Cherchell, in the province of Tipaza) is expected to start in May after Amar Grine was appointed as a Director General of the National Agency for the Realization of the Port Center of Cherchell, by Algeria’s Minister of Public Works and Transport, Kamel Nasri.
During the Council of Ministers meeting on February 28, the President of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, “set a deadline of two months, at most, for making all the necessary arrangements for the effective launch of construction works”. The government’s strategic objective for the port is to be used by land-locked African countries, and it would compete with Morocco’s Tanger Med port. The project will be financed by a long-term loan from the National Investment Fund (FNI) of Algeria and a loan from the Export–Import Bank of China. Port infrastructure is expected to be completed within seven years but will be gradually put in service after the first four years. The selection of the El Hamdania site, east of Cherchell, for the implementation of this project was made on the basis of technical studies, determining that this area has a draft of over 20 meters, in addition to a wide bay providing natural protection. This future deep-water port will have 23 terminals with a processing capacity of nearly 6.5 million containers (TEUs) per year or 25.7 million tonnes of goods per year. It will have the capacity to vessels up to 240,000 tons. According to Algeria’s direction des Travaux publics (DTP – Public Works Department), El Hamdania port will be one of the top 30 ports in the world by containers handled when completed. It is also expected to be the biggest ever infrastructure project in Algeria with a cost of $3.3 billion (€2.77 billion). The mega port will be constructed by a consortium composed of the local Public Port Services Group, China State Construction Corporation (CSCEC) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and will take four years to complete. Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), which is 61% owned the government of the city of Shanghai, is the planned operator of the port. CSCEC and CHEC will have a joint 49% stake in the operating company, with the Algerian Port Authority holding 51% in the new port, which is located only 70 km west of the capital Algiers. The port will cover an area of 1,000 hectares and will have a logistics complex of 2,000 hectares, the shipping and ports director of the Algerian Transport Ministry, Mohamed Ibn Boushaki, said. Algerian government expects the annual cargo traffic of the future El Hamdania port to reach 35 million tonnes by 2050. China’s state-owned shipping line, COSCO Shipping, suggested in 2017 that it could make El Hamdania its hub in the western Mediterranean Sea. El Hamdania will seek to attract transhipment business serving West Africa. The highway between the port and the southern border of Algeria is to be upgraded, enabling containers to be taken faster to many parts of the land-locked West Africa. Algeria wants to regain its place in the maritime sector at the Mediterranean and African level. However, so far, the majority of its ports are embedded in urban centers, which limits any possibility of infrastructure expansion. The political turmoil in Algeria has hampered efforts to implement mega-projects to which the Algerian government has assigned high priority since 2016 and the plans for which were approved in 2017. Work on the project was suspended in April 2019 – at the start of the Hirak protests. In July 2020, following the change in government the decision was taken to try to relaunch the project. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2021.