Bolloré Group closes deal to build $400m deepwater port in Timor Leste

French group Bolloré Transport & Logistics has been chosen by the government of Timor-Leste, also known as East Timor, to design, build and operate the deepwater port of Tibar, near its capital city of Dili.

In a statement issued 1 February the group said the project would involve building a 630-m-long dock, as well as 24ha of onshore facilities.

Under the public-private partnership deal, Bolloré will run the port for 30 years.

Philippe Labonne, chief executive of Bolloré Ports, said the new port would speed up the growth of the nation’s economy by facilitating trade with Asia.

The port will have state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment for container ships carrying more than 7,500 TEUs, which includes Post-Panamax vessels.

According to news website Macauhub, the new port will create 350 permanent jobs.

Timor-Leste formally gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a war lasting from 1975 to 1999.

In November 2015, Rui Maria de Araújo, the prime minister of Timor Leste, announced that the contract for the port would be signed with the French group in the first quarter of 2016.

Bolloré now has 21 concessions worldwide, including 15 in Africa, where it is the largest operator of public-private partnerships.

There were only two bidders for the scheme: Paris-based conglomerate Bolloré and the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company, which is owned by Dubai’s DP World Group.

Portugal’s Mota Engil, Belgium’s Besix Group and Philippine International Container Terminal Services entered the race but did not present bids.

Image shows a rendering of the completed facility (Source: Bolloré)

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