French company promises to rebuild Beirut’s port in less than three years
A chemical explosion at the port killed 200 people and destroyed entire neighbourhoods, deepening Lebanon’s worst political and economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
French container shipping group CMA CGM is pursuing a plan to rebuild Beirut’s port within three years, despite political deadlock in Lebanon that has prevented decisions on the port since a blast last August, a company executive said.
CMA CGM’s plan first outlined to Lebanese authorities in September, envisages the reconstruction of damaged docks and warehouses, along with port expansion and digitalisation, at a total cost estimated at $400 million to $600 million, Joe Dakkak, general manager CMA CGM Lebanon, said on Saturday.
“Our offer remains on the table,” he told Reuters. “Our project is a realistic one because the situation is urgent.”
On Friday, German companies presented a separate multi-billion-dollar plan to rebuild Beirut’s port and neighbouring districts, confirming a previous report by Reuters.
Dakkak said the German initiative was more focused on longer-term real-estate development but CMA CGM would be willing to contribute to the port part of that project if invited to.