Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Lebanon unveils plans to rebuild shattered Beirut port

Beirut port blast 2020 Pexels/Jo Kassis
The aftermath of the massive blast at the port of Beirut in 2020. Plans to rebuild the port have finally been revealed
  • Four years since giant explosion
  • Little progress to repair damage
  • France sponsors proposal to rebuild

Lebanese companies will lead the multi-million-dollar funding for the rehabilitation of Beirut’s port, which will be based mainly on the revenues that the port has been collecting.

Ali Hamieh, the country’s caretaker minister of public works and transport, announced the news on Wednesday.

The port was partially destroyed in August 2020 when the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate caused one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history, killing at least 219 people and injuring thousands more. 

Since then, there has been little progress towards rehabilitating the damaged port and returning its operations to full capacity.

Last year, the port registered half the amount of cargo (measured by 20-foot-long container equivalent units) it dealt with in 2019.

Hamieh, speaking at an event held at the port in coordination with the French Embassy and presided over by Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, stressed that it was “the responsibility of the Lebanese alone to advance their country and its public facilities”.

The event was held to unveil a French-sponsored proposal to rebuild the port. Mikati said the government would implement the plan “as soon as possible, whether through external contributions that we look forward to providing, or from the port’s revenues”.

The proposal, which was put together by the French engineering firms Artelia and Egis, outlines three priorities for the port.

These are repairing the damaged quays and clearing away debris from the blast; improving traffic flows within the port, based on a new traffic plan; and solarising the port’s energy consumption, after consultation with the French state-owned energy firm EDF.

The port’s general director, Omar Itani, said the plans would cost between $60 million and $80 million to implement.

Itani said that the port’s annual revenues had bounced back to $150 million in 2023, having plummeted since 2020. Previously, revenue at the port was more than $200 million a year. 

The press conference did not announce which companies would be considered for the project.

The plans also avoided the contentious issue of the damaged grain silos at the blast site. Civil society activists have campaigned for the silos to be turned into a memorial to commemorate the explosion.

Latest articles

Alstom's upgraded passenger transit system will help reduce emissions at King Abdulaziz International Airport

Alstom to upgrade driverless transit system at Jeddah airport

French train maker Alstom will upgrade the automated and driverless passenger transit system at King Abdulaziz International Airport, as the Jeddah airport aims to receive 114 million passengers by 2030. As part of the contract, Alstom will design, engineer, supply, integrate, test and commission a complete system upgrade of its Innovia automated people mover (APM) at the airport’s terminal […]

The Al Dhafra solar PV project. Ewec plans to increase Abu Dhabi’s solar production capacity to 7.6 GW by 2030

Abu Dhabi to generate 50% power from green sources by 2030 

Abu Dhabi plans to generate more than half of its electricity from renewable and clean energy by 2030, a senior Emirates Water and Electricity Company (Ewec) official has said. The state-owned entity is increasing the emirate’s solar energy production plan to 7.6 gigawatts (GW) by 2030, the UAE state-run Wam news agency reported, quoting CEO Othman Juma […]

An Acwa Power solar facility in Saudi Arabia. The Bank Of China loan will help finance its solar projects in Uzbekistan

Acwa Power takes China bank loan in first for Saudi Arabia

Saudi energy major Acwa Power has secured an $80 million loan from the Bank of China as the appeal of the Chinese Renminbi as a trade currency gains traction in the GCC. Acwa Power, the world’s largest private water desalination company and a first mover into green hydrogen, has received the equity bridge loan to […]

Solar power panel

Cost of Xlinks Morocco-UK project balloons by a third

The cost of an ambitious project to deliver green energy from the south of Morocco to power homes in the UK has ballooned by more than a third to $30 billion. Xlinks First is behind the Morocco-UK renewables project, which would construct the world’s longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea power cable between the North […]