France Reveals Plan to Rebuild Lebanon’s Beirut Port Destroyed in 2020 Explosion

Top view of Beirut Port and Achrafieh area in Beirut, Lebanon.

Lebanon wants to rebuild the Beirut Port, destroyed by an ammonium nitrate explosion on August 4, 2020, and France has come forward to help.

This endeavour has garnered worldwide attention, with France presenting a proposal on March 13, 2024, regarding the port’s reconstruction and reorganisation at the conference in Beirut.

The plan discusses repairing the port infrastructure, designing its layout for efficient traffic flow, and using solar power for port operations. However, the plan doesn’t mention rebuilding the grain silos that were the most impacted when the blast happened.

Artelia and Egis are French Engineering firms that developed the proposal with funding from the French government. Expertise France, a public agency, conducted research on security improvements at the Port of Beirut.

Ali Hamie, Lebanon’s transport and public works minister, said the plan was accepted, and the port revenue would finance the needed investments.

Restoring the state infrastructure devastated in the blast would cost $60 to $80 million. Still, the cost increases to $140 million when private companies’ infrastructure is also considered, per a 2021 assessment by USAID’s Middle East Economic Growth Project.

Beirut Port’s Director General, Omar Itani, highlighted many positive changes since the disaster, including an increase in revenue to $150 million in 2023 from just $9 million in 2020. The port handled 800,000 TEU in 2023 compared to 600,000 TEU in 2022.

France stood with Lebanon during the difficult time. President Macron visited the nation just two days after the blast and promised financial aid for the people.

This week, French Ambassador to Lebanon Herve Magro said Lebanon needs a modern, safe port facility. The French government has made the port issue its priority and a key pillar in its cooperation with Lebanon.

In 2022, CMA Terminals, which won a 10-year concession to operate the Beirut Port’s container terminal, decided to invest $33 million in the terminal to replace, renew, and buy new equipment.

In 2021, Germany also proposed rebuilding the Beirut Port and redeveloping over 100 hectares of surrounding land and residential areas.

References: World Cargo News, Le Monde

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

About Author

Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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