Ethiopia and Djibouti to Expand Fuel Port and Upgrade Road

by Zelalem

Ethiopia and Djibouti have agreed to upgrade the Ethio-Djibouti corridor road and expand the horizon fuel terminal. This was decided after the 2 countries ministers for transport met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, and discussed various bilateral issues.

Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise has complained about horizon terminal’s capacity claiming that it cannot accommodate Africa’s second largest population growing fuel import. Ethiopia’s annual fuel import, which is growing at a rate of 10 percent, has now reached at 3.8 million tons while horizon Djibouti terminal has a storage capacity of 371,000 cubic meters of petroleum products.

Commenting on the issue, Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport, Ahmed Shidie, said; ”We are discussing with Djibouti on how to expand and attract investment in this type of facility in Djibouti.”

“As you know Ethiopia is a country of 100 million population, fast growing and also landlocked. So Djibouti is a major gateway to sea access. And the investment on the railway line and the road and Djibouti’s investment in port infrastructure complements each other. It will facilitate the logistic and transport demand of Ethiopia particularly regarding sea access,” the Ethiopian Minister explained.

Speaking on his part, the Djiboutian Minister of Transport, Mohamed Abdulkadir, said his country wanted to give the best port service to its landlocked neighbor.
“Ethiopia’s economy is growing very fast and it is essential for Djibouti to provide the best service to Ethiopia. We are making a lot of investments in the port. We are building the railway line which will start commercial operation this month,” he said.

Commenting on the horizon terminal, the Djiboutian Minister said; “We will also build another port for oil terminal to give a better service. We will connect the new railway line to the Dorale Port and Horizon terminal. We have many plans to develop our infrastructure which I cannot disclose now.”

Mohamed also admitted the Ethio-Djibouti road is in a very bad condition. It is the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) undertaking the maintenance work.

According to ERA, the Ethiopian government has decided to build an expressway that stretchs all the way to Djibouti. “Since it is the import-export corridor, the existing road will not be able to accommodate the growing traffic. Hence, it has been decided to connect the two countries by an expressway,” the Authority said.

In addition to this, Mohamed said, Ethiopian Airlines and Air Djibouti would soon establish a company together.

Source: The Reporter

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