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The Arab Sea Ports Federation

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Active Members

Laayoune (Port El Aaiun) port

Port of Laayoune (Port El Aaiun)

Working Member

Laayoune (Port El Aaiun) port in Morocco

Overview​

The Port of Laayoune is located in the Western Sahara region of North-Western Africa. This port specializes in hydrocarbon imports and the export of sand and phosphates mined from the surrounding region.

Operational since 1986, it has been a trade hub in the South and has witnessed rapid growth and numerous development activities to improve the facilities at the harbour. The port has been expanded three times since opening to keep up with the large volumes of trade passing through the region.

Like most of the other ports in Morocco, a major activity in the El Aaiun Port is fishing. The annual revenue from fishing contributes to 43% of the port’s income.

At present, the Moroccan government is in the process of settling a fishing agreement with the EU on the division of the region surrounding Laayoune.

The port is connected via air through the Hassan I Airport. It is situated close to the Port of Dakhla and ships head there during congestion at Laayoune. Combined, both these ports handle 89% of commercial maritime traffic in South Morocco.

The Container terminal

The container terminal is a new facility that became operational in June 2021, inaugurated by DP World and the Somali government. The terminal is being developed in phases and after the completion of the first phase, it has an annual container handling capacity of 500,000 TEUs which would rise to 2 million TEUs after the second phase is completed.

This container terminal has a draft of 17 m, a 400 m long quay, a modern container yard and eight rubber-tyred gantries and three ship-to-shore gantry cranes, capable of handling the biggest container vessels. A One-Stop service centre is also being constructed.

Financed by DP World, this port development project aims to transform Berbera into a major maritime trade hub of the region and a crucial logistics provider. A Free Economic Zone is also being developed to attract private investments and create employment opportunities.

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