Banking & Finance AD Ports to invest $500m in Republic of the Congo deal By Andy Sambidge June 20, 2023 AD Ports AD Ports MD Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi called the deal a 'significant milestone' in its strategy AD Ports has signed 30-year concession with Republic of the Congo It will operate New East Mole port in Pointe-Noire First phase of investment will be $220m over 30 months Abu Dhabi Ports Group has signed a 30-year concession agreement with the government of the Republic of the Congo to operate the multipurpose New East Mole Terminal in Pointe-Noire. The company said it plans to invest more than $500 million over the same period, with around $220 million allocated for phase 1, which is expected to be completed over the next 30 months. Under the terms of the agreement, AD Ports Group, which is 75 percent owned by holding company ADQ, will have the exclusive right to invest in the development. It will handle containers, general cargo and break-bulk. Wealth funds likely to increase African investments AD Ports in talks with Congo over trade hub AD Ports Group signs $2bn financing deal AD Ports Group also has the right to extend the deal for 20 years on the same terms and conditions. The Congo agreement follows a previous head of terms deal signed between the two parties in March and comes on the back of strong growth in UAE-Congo bilateral trade which totalled $2.3 billion last year, up 13 percent. It also represents the latest move by AD Ports into Africa after it signed agreements for Egypt and Angola earlier this year. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO of AD Ports Group, described the agreement as a “significant milestone” in the company’s growth strategy, adding that it anticipates “boosting trade and commerce between our countries and opening new trade routes, creating new employment opportunities, and contributing to the overall development of Congo”. Denis-Christel Sassou Nguesso, minister of international cooperation, said he is confident the deal will be “invaluable” in accelerating progress in critical areas such as transportation, trade and logistics. “We believe that this partnership has the potential to be a game-changer for our country, and we are excited to see the positive impact it will have in the years to come,” he added. Pointe Noire is the main commercial centre of the Congo and the New Mole Port proposal is part of the Congolese government’s National Development Plan, which aims to diversify and expand its economy. African focus Over the past decade, the UAE has emerged as the largest investor in Africa among the GCC members and the fourth largest worldwide. AD Ports in March signed a concession agreement to develop and operate a port in Safaga in Egypt, in addition to signing two 15-year agreements concerning ports located in the Red Sea region and the Mediterranean Sea. In January, it entered into a head of terms agreement to form a joint venture with state-owned Unicargas, which manages the multipurpose terminal at the Port of Luanda, Angola’s busiest port. It has also signed a collaboration agreement with the Africa Finance Corporation to address infrastructure gaps across the continent by identifying, financing, developing and investing in ports, warehouses, maritime and logistics infrastructure projects across Africa. In Q1, the company reported a 73 percent jump in revenue to AED1.8 billion and an 18 percent rise in net profit to AED363 million. Separately on Tuesday, it was reported that the Pakistani government is in talks with AD Ports Group to transfer the operation of Karachi Port Trust-owned container terminal.