Lebanese contractors have proposed a plan to redevelop the Port of Beirut without costing the state any expenses.
On Tuesday, Engr. Maroun Helou, head of the Lebanese Public Works and Construction Contractors Association, and Antoine Amatouri, founder of the container terminals at the Ports of Beirut and Tripoli, held a joint press conference to present their project.
The project, titled “Amatouri – Helou for the Reconstruction of the Port of Beirut,” is a 3-year plan funded by the Port’s income.
If implemented, it would “revive the contracting and engineering sector and the local consultants, who have the competence and ability to implement and accomplish in a time when national companies falter, their structures and limbs disintegrate, and their engineers and workers emigrate,” Helou said in a statement.
It would also revive local production and secure new job opportunities for the Lebanese, as well as provide additional revenue for the state via investments, as it does not need to use all of the spaces at the Port, according to Helou.
Additionally, for this project, “the state is not obligated to borrow or incur any additional expenses other than what we will invest through the Port’s revenues, and it does not include any guarantees.”
Rather, the private sector will provide a guarantee of good execution and preparation of works and purchases.
The Port’s income over a period of three years is sufficient to restore the Port to what it used to be before the August 4 explosion, Helou confirmed.
“Our outlook is realistic and is based on balanced development, as we suggest strengthening the Port of Sidon with a container terminal that enhances our vision so that Lebanon would have three modern ports that create job opportunities in all Lebanese regions,” he said.
Helou explained that this proposal is less costly for the state, more successful, and can be implemented more quickly than previous proposals, which he said would drown Lebanon in new, unnecessary debts.
The Engineer finally noted that there would have to be an active government for the proposal to be officially submitted.