French container transportation and shipping company, CMA CGM, was awarded by Lebanon a 10-year contract, on Thursday, to manage and operate the container terminal in Beirut Port.
The Lebanese Transport Minister, Ali Hamieh, said that the contract also included the re-building and the expansion of the port after it was severely damaged by the Beirut port explosion.
The company announced in a statement that a “$33 million investment will be made in the container terminal of Beirut Port including $19 million over the first two years.”
The investment will be used to “complete infrastructure upgrade: refurbishment, replacement, and acquisition of new port equipment. The construction of a new technical facility for maintenance and spare parts storage.”
Adding that a digital transformation and environmental performance improvements will also be made “through the purchase of greener and eco-friendly equipment.”
The CEO of CMA CGM, Rodolphe Saade, expressed his pleasure at having been granted the contract, assuring again his company’s commitment to Lebanon.
CMA CGM is one of the biggest shipping companies in the world, founded and managed by the French-Lebanese Saade family, which had undertaken several initiatives of support to Lebanon in the past years.
In 2019, it launched the Hub Digital Center in Beirut to aid the development of the digital ecosystem in Lebanon and support the Lebanese youth through providing jobs during the intense crisis.
In December 2019, the company’s foundation launched the “Supports Lebanon” humanitarian operation.
CMA CGM was also the first to step in to offer to rebuild the Beirut port, barely a month after its massive devastation. Back in September 2020, it outlined to the Lebanese authorities a plan to fix and overhaul the port back into a fully functioning facility, including expanding it and digitalizing it.
Since then, several foreign entities had also proposed to reconstruct the Beirut Port, companies from China, UAE, Germany, and others.
Lebanon has finally decided to grant the contract to CMA CGM.
Expressing his company’s pleasure with the contract, CEO Rodolphe Saade stated: “Faithful to our commitment to Lebanon, we will launch shortly an ambitious investment plan that will transform the terminal into a state-of-the-art facility meeting the best international standards.
He indicated that “it will be at the service of the Lebanese people and will revitalize the economic exchanges between Lebanon and the rest of the world.”