Lebanon-UAE Talks Close on New Port Deal
The US$225 million container terminal deal between Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) and Beirut Port could be back on track following an announcement by Public Works and Transport Minister Najib Mikati that negotiations were continuing, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
Mikati confirmed Thursday that he had met Dubai Ports Authority officials, saying he was in the last phase of talks for a final agreement, said the daily.
Local shipping sources said the agreement signed three years ago would be amended to give DPA a larger share of revenue from container handling at the port. Under the new arrangement, DPA will take 75 percent of the revenue, up from 60 percent, from each container passing through the terminal, while Beirut Port will take the remaining 25 percent.
The DPA contract to equip and operate the new terminal was signed in October 1998 and covers a 20-year period.
The Port of Beirut invested more than US$100 million in constructing the new terminal, but Dubai did not supply the equipment for which it was contracted. The terminal was due to start operating in September 2000. No official explanation has been given for the delay, said the daily – Albawaba.com