Planners eye Quay 15 for bulk terminal in Beirut Port rebuild

Beirut City after Port Blast | Lebanon Explosion Destruction scene

Planners behind the redevelopment of the destroyed Port of Beirut will target and expand Quay 15 to allow for larger bulk ships as the port rebuilds from the devastating explosion in 2020.

During a press conference on 9 April highlighting the roadmap for rebuilding the port, led by Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC), Quay 15 at Basin 4 was highlighted as the “most underutilised” quay in the whole port.

The quay, on the west side of the container terminal – which was largely unaffected by the blast – has a maximum draft of 13m, said Lars Greiner, Associate Partner Middle East & Africa, HPC.  

“This allows the larger ships, up to 60,000-70,000 tonnes, to come in and discharge. Basic shipping tells you that the larger the ship, the more you can have on the ship, and so the shipping cost is reduced.”

Greiner said that by moving a modern bulk handling facility to Quay 15 allows the port to put in suction units, conveyor belts to siloes at the facility, and create a “very efficient” bulk terminal where larger ships can dock, reducing bulk imports.

The expansion into Quay 15 will result in a 10m-15m reduction in space available for the Beirut Container Terminal, Greiner explained.

The remaining three quays (Quays 12, 13, and 14) could then be used for non-containerised cargos, to allow for cargo to flow through them.

Greiner added that in the future on the west-most quay of the basin, planners could consider installing a ro-ro facility, advantaging vehicle loading and discharging.

On financing for future operations for the container terminal, Greiner said that several parties are interested in tendering for portions of operations at the Beirut Container Terminal Consortium.

“We believe these are the companies that down the line will be looking to tender a portion, or more portions, of the port,” commented Greiner. “We have several other parties that are interested in different parts of the container terminal. These are the operators that will take over operations on concession basis over a period of time.

“Normally we would look for a concession period to run for 15-25 years for them to manage it. We would create the framework and facilitate that,” he added.

Greiner’s comments come as container shipping company CMA CGM mulled plans to rebuild the port in just three years, according to Reuters. The firm outlined plans to Lebanese officials in September 2020, estimating the cost to run between $400-$600 million, Joe Dakkak, General Manager at CMA CGM Lebanon told Reuters.

The press conference, led by HPC and real estate service provider Colliers International, also outlined plans to extend the port to the east, converting space gained as a community-based real estate development.

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