Since the beginning of 2022, 85 major marine construction projects have broken ground at a total cost of over $45.6bn. Of these, the top ten most expensive port projects have a combined cost of around $17bn, according to the GlobalData construction project database.

This is roughly the same as last year. In 2021, 84 marine projects commenced construction, at a lower cost of $39bn.

Read the ten most expensive maritime construction projects of 2023 here.

At a time when supply chains have come under increased scrutiny, due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising energy costs and a cost-of-living crisis hitting consumers, investment in the ports that allow for goods to flow is more crucial than ever.

Almost half of all marine projects that broke ground in 2022 were port facilities projects (40), totalling a combined cost of over $15bn.

Here are the 10 most expensive maritime, port, and inland water construction projects that have commenced construction in the last year.

Aerial photo of Namibe Bay Integrated Development, a port project in Angola

10. Namibe Bay Integrated Development, Angola: $643m (AOA324.3bn)

The Angola Ministry of Transport, in association with Toyota Tsusho Corporation and TOA Corporation, is undertaking the Namibe Bay Port Integrated Development in Namibe, Angola.

The project aims to revitalise the economy in the south of the country, generate employment, and diversify industry; at the same time, it will increase the potential of the port for becoming a gateway for imports and exports to and from landlocked countries in the African continent.

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By GlobalData

The development involves the rehabilitation of the Sacomar iron ore export terminal and the expansion of the Namibe container terminal.

The rehabilitation of the Sacomar iron ore export terminal includes the construction of a new jetty and the development of backlands. The expansion of the Namibe container terminal includes the construction of a new container terminal, dredging works, and installation of container cranes.

The project will be developed in two parts: first, the rehabilitation of the Saco Mar iron ore export terminal, and second, the expansion of the Namibe container terminal, located on the opposite shore to Saco Mar.

The project is financially supported by Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Nippon Export Investment Insurance. TOA Corporation will be responsible for the construction works.

Construction started in Q3 2022 and is expected to be completed by Q2 2024.

rendering of Abu Qir Container Terminal, a port facility project in Egypt

9. Abu Qir Container Terminal, Egypt: $730m (EGP22.1bn)

Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) and the Egyptian Navy are undertaking the construction of a new container terminal in Abu Qir, Egypt.

The project involves the construction of a new container terminal shoreline. It includes the construction of a storage yard, wharf, dredging and reclamation works, waterway improvement works, revetment and retaining wall, breakwater, and related supporting facilities such as fire protection, water and electricity, and pipe networks and associated facilities.

Upon completion, the terminal will be able to handle a total capacity of 2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), featuring 1,200m of quay length, along with a terminal yard on 60 hectares of land.

China Harbour Engineering Company has been appointed as the main contractor and construction works are ongoing.

The construction commenced in the second half of 2022 and is expected to be completed by 2024.

photo of Colombo West International Terminal, a port in Sri Lanka

8. Colombo West International Terminal, Sri Lanka: $789m (LKR288.3bn)

Sri Lanka Ports Authority, in association with Adani International Port Holding (a subsidiary of Adani Group) and John Keells Holdings, is undertaking the construction of a Colombo West International Terminal in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The project involves the construction of a container terminal with an annual handling capacity of 3 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) on 65ha of land. The new terminal will be built in two phases.

Under phase one, the construction company will build an 800m-long jetty and install 18 automatic terminal cranes.

It also includes the construction of a berth, a wharf, storage container terminals, a container repair area, a jetty with a length of 1,400m, access roads, and parking facilities, the installation of three barge cranes, and safety and security systems.

Construction commenced in November 2022 and is expected to be completed in 2024.

photo of Mardie Salt and Potash Plant in Australia

7. Mardie Salt and Potash Plant, Australia: $890m (AUD1.2bn)

BCI Minerals is undertaking the construction of a salt and sulfate of potash processing plant in Mardie, Western Australia.

It will create 450 jobs during construction and 200 operational jobs over a 60-year operating life.

The project involves the construction of the sulfate of potash plant with a production capacity of 5.35 million tonnes per annum of high-purity salt and 140,000 tonnes per annum of premium fertilizer.

It includes the construction of a 100km2 evaporation pond and crystallizer system, two processing plants, a new export facility, a centralized gas-fuelled power station, a 2.4km jetty structure, a 400-bed accommodation village and the installation of a fluidized bed dryer, and harvesting machine, mixing machine, pre-crushing machine, and security and safety systems.

Main construction work commenced on March 25, 2022, with the first salt expected to ship in the third quarter of 2025.

Photo of Khalifa Port, UAE

6. CMA Terminals Khalifa Port, UAE: $899m (AED3.3bn)

Abu Dhabi Ports is undertaking the construction of CMA Terminals Khalifa Port in Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The project is being developed in two phases.

Phase 1 involves the construction of a 1,200m of quay wall, a 3,800m breakwater, a fully built-out rail platform, reefers, an 11kV substation, installation of electric rubber tired gantries (e-RTGs), and other machinery, equipment, and associated facilities.

Phase 2 involves the construction of a 1200m x 580m container yard (which will be utilized as a general cargo terminal), 36 single buildings, 610,000 flat piles yard road, a hub room, office, and toilet blocks, and an external road network to connect the existing CT2 road and future CT3, a three-story admin building and a two-story workshop and office building, utility buildings, OCR, in & out gates, reconfiguration of the existing roads, installation of utility connections from the existing networks from the CT1/CT2 and Etihad Rail development, 346,000 linear meters of a professional integrated pipe network, electromechanical and communication equipment, and associated facilities.

Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a 35-year concession agreement with CMA CGM Group for the development of the project. The construction works commenced in Q3 2022 and are scheduled to be completed by 2024.

Rendering of the Larnaca Port and Marina Development in Cyprus

5. Larnaca Port and Marina Development, Cyprus: $1.4bn (Є1.2bn)

Cyprus Ports Αuthority is undertaking the development of the Larnaca Port and Marina in Larnaca, Cyprus.

The project aims to build a world-class cruise and marina facility, to create an environmentally and economically sustainable ‘green’ development, to form public & private spaces and iconic buildings, to maximize the site’s potential and to develop for the benefit of Larnaka, for the long term.

The project involves expanding the marina to 650 berths and redeveloping both the port and its surroundings to a total area of 510,000m2. It also includes the extension of the existing marina to accommodate 650 boats/yachts from five to 150m in length.

The project will be developed in four phases;

  • The first phase includes the construction of a new road, a Yacht Club, a 5,000m2 marina office space, restaurants, event venues, sailing and diving schools, and boat shops.
  • The second phase includes the construction of 10,000m2 of educational space, a medical school and centre, a hotel, a tourist college, and a university for environmental and energy studies.
  • The third phase includes the construction of 45 luxury villas, a residential complex, a five-star business hotel, a shopping centre, and two additional residential complexes serviced by the hotel.
  • The fourth phase includes the development of the western part of the project and office buildings and small apartments for students with private parking spaces.

The exact scope will be determined as the project takes shape in phases.

Construction works on Marina commenced in Q3 2022, and the full project is estimated to be completed, according to GlobalData, by the end of 2034.

photo of Kampot Logistics And Multipurpose Port, Cambodia

4. Kampot Logistics And Multipurpose Port, Cambodia: $1.5bn (KHR6150bn)

The Kampot Logistics and Port Company is undertaking the construction of a multi-purpose port and logistics centre in Bokor, Kampot, Cambodia.

The project involves the construction of a multi-purpose port to accommodate vessels weighing up to 100,000 tonnes and a logistic centre on 600 hectares of land and will be developed in three phases.

The project aims to enhance the marine transportation and logistics services sector of Kampot Province. It will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Phase one includes the construction of a gatehouse, parking, residential zone, admin building, custom house, business centre, truck overflow, container yard and terminal, bulk terminal, break bulk terminal, bonded warehouse zone, storage area, bonded area, cruise terminal, barge terminal, and multi-purpose storage.

Phase two includes a trade zone; and phase three includes an oil storage area, an oil refinery zone, an oil terminal, an LPG terminal, and an LNG terminal.

Once complete, the port will have the capacity to handle 300,000 TEUs in 2025 and up to 600,000 TEUs in 2030.

China Road and Bridge Corporation and Shanghai Construction Group are undertaking the construction activities.

Construction on the first phase commenced in May 2022 and is scheduled to be completed by 2025.

Aerial photo showing container ships in Port Hedland Inner Harbor, Australia

3. Port Hedland Inner Harbor Debottlenecking, Australia: $2bn (AUD2.5bn)

BHP Billiton, a diversified natural resources company, has undertaken the upgrading of the Inner Harbour Debottlenecking project in Western Australia, Australia.

The project involves the construction of port export infrastructural facilities that ease an excess of 290 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) capacity from the current 220MTPA. It includes the construction of ship loaders, car dumpers, and port blending infrastructure.

This project is a part of the Pilbara Port Hedland Expansion project and will enable BHP Billiton Iron Ore’s export capacity to meet projected increases in production from the region and remain competitive as market demand increases.

Construction commenced in December 2022 and is expected to finish by 2025.

Rendering of Pedernales Tourism Development, Dominican Republic

2. Pedernales Tourism Development, Dominican Republic: $2.3bn (DOP129.4bn)

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, Dominican Republic is building a tourism development in Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic.

The project involves the construction of six 4,700-room hotels, a drinking water distribution system, a sanitary drainage system, a pluvial drainage system, a wastewater treatment plant, the Cabo Rojo port, four docking positions, a passenger reception centre, a water park, shopping area, spa, and boutique hotel.

It also includes a maintenance area, beach area, 9.2km of sanitary sewage, storm drainage, 8.3km of drinking water supply, a new cruise terminal, internal roads, the Enriquillo-Pedernales highway, golf courses, a marina, a yacht club, a commercial area and an international airport, as well as the expansion of maritime terminal to have up to four berthing positions.

The project will be developed in four stages over a period of 10 years. The first phase will have six hotels.

The objective of the project is to generate economic activity, development of highways, electricity works and an airport, among others.

It will also create 20,000 direct jobs and 50,000 indirect jobs. It will generate jobs for the entire Enriquillo Region, made up of the provinces of Barahona, Pedernales, Independencia and Bahoruco.

a boat traveeling down the Seine Nord Europe Canal in France

1. Seine Nord Europe Canal, France: $6.1bn (Є5.1bn)

Voies Navigable De France (VNF), is undertaking the development of the Seine Nord Europe Canal between Oise and Aubencheul-au-Bac, in France.

The project involves the construction of a 107.4km long canal with 54m width and 4.5m depth, seven water locks, three canal bridges, 61 roads and rail bridges, two loading docks, one water reservoir, four platforms, five-grain docks, access roads, and other facilities.

The project will be constructed on 2,450 hectares of land and features the construction of two railway bridges at Creil-Jeumont and Amiens.

The project will be developed in four phases: Phase I (Compiègne to Passel), Phase II (Passel to Allaines), Phase III (Allaines to Etricourt-Manancourt) and Phase IV (Etricourt-Manancourt to Aubencheul-au-Bac).

The purpose of the project is to link France’s Seine River to Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands to transport about 13 million tonnes of cargo by river, the equivalent of 500,000 trucks per year thereby reducing CO2 emissions in the region.

This link is on the list of priority projects of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T) and is one of the major projects of the core network corridor identified as a bottleneck: the North Sea to the Mediterranean.

The project will create a job pool of 10,000 people. Construction works commenced in September 2022 and are expected to be completed by 2030.