Construction of a new deepwater port project worth approximately $1 billion broke ground on Jan. 4 in Dakar, Senegal, with developer DP World Dakar SA, a local joint venture company between DP World and Senegalese ports’ operator PAD. The team plans to implement the project in two phases. 

DP World Dakar SA will, in the first phase, develop and operate a $837-million 300-hectare (approx. 1.1 sq mile) container terminal with a 840-m-long quay, a depth of 18 m and handling capacity of 1.2 million TEU (20-ft shipping container units) annually.

The new container terminal will be operated by DP World Dakar SA alongside the existing DP World Dakar Container Terminal that is located at the port of Dakar. The existing terminal handles 1,000 trucks a day and accounts for up to 95% of Senegal’s imports and exports.

The project, which will create at least 1,000 direct jobs during the construction phase, is Senegal’s largest ever onshore foreign direct investment, and is intended to alleviate supply chain disruptions and reduce the cost of importing goods into Senegal and neighboring Mali.

A 5-km marine channel will be dredged to handle at least two 336-m-long vessels, permitting the port to accept much larger container ships than in the past.

In the second phase, DP World Dakar SA will finance, design and develop the land and maritime infrastructure for the $290-million Ndayane Port, which will be located about 50 km south of Senegal’s capital Dakar.

That phase entails construction of an additional 410-m-quay and development of an economic industrial zone next to the new port of Ndayane. Both the industrial zone and the new port will be interconnected with Blaise Diagne International Airport which currently handles up to 3 million passengers annually, serving as an intermodal transportation, logistics and industrial hub for Senegal.

“With port of Ndayane, Senegal will have a state-of-the-art port infrastructure that will reinforce our country’s position as a major trade hub and gateway in West Africa,” Senegalese President Macky Sall said on Jan. 4.

Senegal and DP World conceived the plan for the DP World Dakar SA joint venture and the related maritime project. In December 2020 they signed a concession agreement to build and operate the new Ndayane port.

“As the leading enabler of global trade, we will bring all our expertise, technology and capability to this project, the completion of which will support Senegal’s development over the next century,” DP World Group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said on January 4.

DP World declined to comment to ENR regarding the port project’s schedule and contracting details.