The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services announced it has finalized preparations to construct a new dry port at Kombolcha with an estimated cost of 1.5 billion Birr.
The Shipping Enterprise has been undertaking a feasibility study to relocate its existing dry port in Kombolcha town, which has been active for over a decade and build a new one that is adjacent Kombolcha Industry Park and the railway line that crosses the town.
The dry port is expected to be completed in two years, while the cost of the construction will be covered by the Ethiopian shipping & logistics Enterprise.
"Based on the feasibility study, constructing a new dry port that is near the Park, the airport and the new railway is crucial and will help facilitate imports and exports of goods," said Roba Megersa, CEO of the Enterprise.
The 390 kilometer long Awash-Woldia-Hara-Gebeya Railway project has been under construction since 2015 at a cost of USD1.7 billion. While the first phase of the project has already been completed, 80 percent of the second phase has been finalized with it expected to go operational upon installment of electricity lines.
"Along with the railway lines, Kombolcha is fast changing to be a hub of industries; thus, it is necessary to construct a new dry port in order to improve logistics services. The move is essential to boost productivity of businesses, including industries, in the town," said Roba.
According to Roba, the existing dry port is located in the middle of the city and has a limited capacity to satisfy the needs of industries situated in Kombolcha and nearby towns. The Shipping Enterprise has already started discussions with officials of the town to get a title deed for 25 hectares of land, which it has identified to begin construction on.
"The Kombolcha city administration is keen to complete all of the necessary preconditions, including paying compensation to households that will be affected by the construction of the dry port," said Roba.
Ethiopian Railways Corporation is expected to construct a railway line that will connect the dry port with Awash-Woldia-Hara Gebeya Railway, while a tender will be floated to hire a contractor for the project once the land is cleared to start construction.
"Our enterprise is eager to start the construction of the dry port as soon as the land is cleared and we get a title deed," Roba said.