Since the beginning of 2021, 84 major port construction projects have broken ground at a total cost of over $39bn. Of these, the top ten most expensive port projects have a combined cost of around $22bn.
At a time when supply chains have come under increased scrutiny, investment in the ports that allow for goods to flow is more crucial than ever.
Four of the most expensive port projects to break ground in the last year are located in Africa – three of those in North Africa specifically. North Africa is also home to the most expensive port construction project to commence construction in the last 12 months.
Here are the ten most expensive port construction projects that have commenced construction in the last year.
NOLA Oil Terminal, US: $930m
NOLA Oil Terminal, LLC (NOLA Oil) is undertaking the construction of a new oil terminal in Louisiana, the US. The project involves the construction of an oil terminal on 64ha of land next to the Mississippi River.
It will be developed in two phases and includes the construction of two deepwater berths, loading and unloading facilities, and related infrastructure.
The $300m first phase involves the construction of a wharf that accommodates two deepwater berths for oil tankers and one barge dock. The two berths will be capable of mooring 170,000-ton vessels and the barge dock will serve both inland and oceangoing tank barges.
The second phase involves the construction of an oil terminal with a storage capacity of 1.5 million cubic metres. The exact scope is yet to materialize.
Carubba Engineering has been appointed as the contractor on the most expensive port project in North America in the last 12 months. Construction on the first phase commenced in December 2021 and is slated to be completed in mid-2022.
Sever Bay Oil Terminal, Russia: $1.2bn
Vostok Oil is building an oil terminal with a shipment capacity of 100 million tons per year in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
The project is being developed in three phases. The first phase involves the construction of a terminal with a transhipment capacity of 30 million tonnes of oil per year.
The second phase involves the expansion of the terminal with a transhipment capacity of up to 50 million tonnes of oil per year. The third phase involves the expansion of the terminal with a transhipment capacity of up to 100 million tonnes of oil per year.
The first phase of the most expensive port in Europe is further being developed in three sub-phases. The first one involves the construction of a port fleet berth and berths for unloading construction cargo, with a capacity of 0.88 million tonnes of oil per year.
It also involves constructing an overpass for inspection of vehicles, mechanical repair shops, and storage areas for general cargo. Further, the project includes an overpass for engineering networks and other auxiliary buildings.
The second phase involves the construction of the terminal with a capacity of 26.1 million tonnes of oil per year, as well as technological quays, a washing area, a buffer tank of diesel fuel, a pumping station, a condensation and dispersion complex, and an injection unit.
Phase two also involves the construction of basic production facilities, the booming service area, an open warehouse for containers with equipment, and the laying of a process pipeline.
The third phase involves the construction of facilities to ensure the safety of navigation systems, and the installation of navigation equipment.
Sokhna Port Docks and New Berths Development, Egypt: $1.3bn
The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) is planning to construct docks and new berths at Al Sokhna port in Suez, Egypt. The Sokhna port is the largest hub port in the Red Sea, serving the global trade movement between South and East Asia, South and West Europe, and North Africa.
The project aims to transform the Sokhna industrial area into a global petrochemical hub.
The $1.3bn project includes the construction of 4 new docks, 18km berths (18 metres depth), new yards with terminals spread over 5.6 million square metres, and logistic areas spanning 5.3 square kilometres.
The project also includes the construction of a 14km internal road, as well as a 10km internal railway network, which is connected to the Ain Sokhna–Alamein City high-speed passenger and freight railway.
SCZone and the Egyptian General Authority for Roads and Bridges signed an agreement to develop the project in April 2021.
In November 2021, Orascom Construction was awarded as the main contract of the Sokhna New berth development and construction work commenced on the project.
As of January 2022, construction work is progressing on schedule.
Ramayapatnam Seaport Development, Andhra Pradesh: $1.4bn
Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board (APMB) is undertaking the construction of a port in Ramayapatnam, in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh, India. The aim of the project is to improve the export and import facilities for various commodities.
The project, which is the most expensive port project in India over the last 12 months, involves the construction of a port on 890ha of land. the project will be developed in three phases. The first phase involves the construction of a port on 324ha of land.
It also includes the construction of marine facilities, transportation and storage facilities, storage units, distribution units, loading and unloading facilities, access roads, other related infrastructure, and the installation of a high-end security system.
The project will be developed under the public-private partnership. The Indian Government has approved the technical and financial bids submitted by NECL, which quoted $358m for the project to be constructed on an EPC basis. Construction works are scheduled to be completed by 2024.
Barra do Dande Port Development, Angola: $1.5bn
Sonangol EP (Sonangol) is planning to construct a port in Barra do Dande, Luanda, Angola. As well as serving the region, the project aims to create an international port that can be strategically used as an international warehouse for merchants.
The project involves the construction of an 18.25km quay wall, 1050ha of embarkment area, and 468ha of logistics support zone (Zona Apoio Logística-ZAL).
The port infrastructure includes the construction of the solid bulk terminal, liquid bulk terminal, container terminal, Multi-use terminal, and petroleum support zone.
The most expensive port project in Central Africa in the last year will be developed under a Public-Private partnership. Atlantic Ventures was awarded the Barra do Dande port concession contract for 30 years.
The main contract tender has been issued on January 28, 2021. Odebrecht Engenharia e Construção Internacional has been appointed as the main contractor for Oceanic Terminal.
Map Ta Phut Industrial Port Development Phase III, Thailand: $1.7bn
The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is undertaking the expansion of a deep-sea port in Rayong Province, Thailand.
The project aims to expand imports of natural gas and raw fluid material for the petrochemical industry and bio-economy. It will also accommodate the growing volume of liquefied natural gas from 10 million tonnes to 62 million tonnes a year.
The project involves the construction of a deep-sea port on 160ha of land in two stages. It includes the construction of raw liquid material terminals on 32ha of land and natural gas terminals on 32ha of land, a service terminal, a 2,229m long quay, warehouses, and a settling pond of 72ha of land.
The first stage will be implemented with an investment value of $1.5bn. It includes the dredging and reclamation works of 160ha of land, construction of embankments, ship wharves, and two gas terminals on 32ha of land, which will support the transfer of 10 million tons of gas transfer per annum.
This stage also includes the LNG terminal construction with a capacity of 5 million tons per annum (MTPA) in the first phase and up to 10.8MTPA in the later stage.
The second stage will be implemented with an investment value of $227m. It includes the development of a wharf, the construction of two liquid cargo terminals on 32ha of land, that will support the shipment of 4 to 10.8 million tonnes of liquid products per annum, and backyard space on 24ha of land.
Dakhla Atlantique Port Complex, Morocco: $1.7bn
Agence Nationale des Ports (ANP) is planning to undertake the construction of the Dakhla Atlantique Port Complex project near Dakhla, Morocco.
The purpose of the project, located 60km north of Dakhla, is to improve the economy of the region by developing the industrial, energy and general cargo traffic, and contribute to the social and economic development of the Oued Ed-Dahab-Lagouira region of Morocco.
The project involves the construction of a commercial port, a fishing port, 3,000ml main breakwaters, 850ml secondary breakwaters, a 900ml trade quay, a 1,460ml fishing quay, and a sheltered Dock for the ship lift system.
It also includes an earth platform, warehouses, container terminals, a logistics facility, access roads, loading and unloading facilities, administrative buildings, and parking facilities.
The port will be designed to accommodate the traffic of fishing associated with the new free zone and all commercial fisheries-related export-import traffic.
Societe Generale des Travaux du Maroc and the Somagec consortium was appointed as the construction contractor in September 2021, with bordering works progressing in December 2021.
Sorong Port Development, Indonesia: $1.8bn
TPT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) is planning to build a port in Sorong, Seget district, West Papua, Indonesia.
The purpose of the most expensive port project in the last year in Asia is to boost the cargo transport sector and handle the heavy motor cargo capacity in the region.
The project involves the construction of a new port with 2.95 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and a 50ha container yard fronted by a 1,440m berth. It will be implemented in three stages.
The first is short term development carried out from 2016 to 2021, medium-term development from 2022 to 2027, and long-term development from 2028 to 2036.
The first phase includes the construction of a port on 16ha of land with 500,000 TEUs capacity with a value of $172m.
The project also includes the construction of a container yard, an 8ha stacking field, and a 340-meter long pier, as well as storage facilities, quay walls, container terminals, a switchyard, administrative space, and related infrastructure.
Construction commenced in 2021, and as of January 2022, the container terminal construction work has been completed. Reclamation works and the building a dock works are now underway.
Grand Faw Port Container Terminal, Iraq: $3bn
General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) is undertaking the construction of the Grand Faw port container terminal on the Al-Faw peninsula in the Basra province of Iraq.
The $3bn project includes the construction of a 39km container quay, five 2km berths, and a subsea tunnel linking the Umm AL Qasr port.
It will also involve the construction of a container terminal to handle 99 million tonnes of cargo annually, deepening the sailing channel to 19-21m, as well as shore facilities, and infrastructure.
Daewoo E&C will handle construction work including building five berths to unload ships and a yard for containers. Daewoo will also carry out dredging and drilling works to create an access navigation channel.
Cherchell El Hamdania Port Development, Algeria: $6bn
The most expensive port project to begin construction in the last year is found in Algeria. The Algerian Ministry of Transport is undertaking the construction of a deep-water commercial seaport at El-Hamdania in Cherchell, Algeria.
The port is located 100km away from the capital Algiers and is connected to the railway network and motorways.
Once completed, the port will have 23 quay berths with the overall length of the quays being 6,320m. It covers an area of 1,032 hectares with the floor space for logistics of 2,600ha. The annual throughput accounts for 6,300,000 standard containers of 20 feet in size plus 27.5 million tonnes tons of bulk cargoes.
The project involves the construction of a deepwater commercial seaport on a 2,000ha area, with a processing capacity of 6.5 million containers and 27.5 million tonnes of general cargo per year.
It also includes the construction of jetties, 23 docks, logistic facilities, berths, cargo handling facilities, warehouses, and administrative buildings. Further, it will include loading and unloading facilities, the installation of machinery, and security and safety systems.
The project, developed through Public-Private Partnership, is also known as Tipasa commercial port. The Algerian Ministry of Transport, China Harbour Engineering Company, and China State Construction Engineering Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the project.
Read the ten most expensive maritime construction projects of 2022 here.