Aden Port Paces to Prosperity Through the Free Zone [Archives:1999/36/Business & Economy]

September 6 1999

By: Ridhwan Alawi Al-Saqqaf, 
Aden Bureau Cheif, 
Yemen Times 
The strategic, as well as dynamic location of Aden has made officials in our government declare it as a free zone in 1991. From that time, work has been going in bounds and leaps, until today, to make considerable progress in the development of the country to meet the requirements of the modern time. This will eventually yield fruits to the welfare of the society. We will also be able to locate Yemen in the International Trade Movement and Trade Exchange through the terminal project in the free zone of Aden. 
* The Initiative: 18\3\1996 
This started after the Yemeni government signed a contract with the implementing company Yeminvest and the General Organization of the Free Zone Districts, as a representative of the Yemeni government. The contract states that the company builds container terminals, as well as implementing the project of the industrial storing district. The building of the station has been divided into three different stages and the overall pavement’s length will be around 1650m. There will be six anchors that are designed for large ocean-going ships and terminals carrying a capacity of 1.5 million terminals per year. In 1995, after the declaration of law no.(4) and signing a contract with Yeminvest on 18\3\1996, work in the first stage of this project started. It is worth mentioning that the designs of this project have been made by the American Rapton Company, one of the biggest International companies in the world, then, a number of companies conducted the land survey and started cleaning the bottom of the sea. 
The Opening of the First Stage and its Operation starting on 8\3\1999: 
When working on this stage, that extends over 35 hectare, and costing $250 million was complete, operation on the first stage of the terminal port had started. The pavement of the port consisted of 16m ready to be deepened to 18m. The overall area of the building of the general administration and its departments is around 10000m2, including the general administrative building, main gate, maintenance workshop and stores for emptying containers. Then, the project was provided by a 4km-length cable and telephone lines increased from 300-1000 and were connected to the containers port. 
The Unfinished Stages of the Project: 
There are four stages left, indicated in the following: 
1) The Second Stage: 
It will include the project of expanding the Tarmac Airport to 600m, as well as designing new airplanes paths, the deepening of ship canals and anchors, making facilities for containers and to develop the industry by treating the raw materials along the North sea shore from the entrance of small Aden. Also, developing the Refinery\Colander capacity, the transportation net, electricity, water, sewage through building new modern stations, as well as expanding the existing net is required. The cost of this stage will be approximately $12 million. 
2) The Third Stage: 
It will include the expanding and rebuilding of the airport, as well as its paths. Another department will be added to facilitate work in the containers. A fourth level in Caltex, as well as storage places along the North Coast and Hadeed Mountain, will be established, costing $27 billion and employing a good number of workers. There is an intention to establish a refinery, new ports, and expand hotels, as well as tourist resorts in Small Aden. The second terminal will be developed to generate energy to 25 megawatt and the constructing of the second terminal to cleaning water. The working in this stage will last for eight years. 
3) The Fourth Stage: 
The cost of this stage is estimated at approximately $13 billion. This stage will include improvements and expansion. A new station for generating energy and processing unit sewage water in small Aden may last for ten years. 
Offers and Requests for Investment in the free Zone: 
If we assume that the number of investments in the free zone are around 622, the overall cost will be $1.53 billion and will include around 24,000 employees, according to records reported by the investment department in these projects. The figures are distributed in the following: 
162 projects in the industrial field with a cost of $337 million. 
203 projects in the trade field with a cost of $50 million. 
106 in the storage department with the cost of $50 million. 
50 orders in the field of tourism with a capital of $203 million. 
84 orders in the services field with the cost of $602 million. 
17 investment orders in the fish field with the cost of $33 million. 
The overall area allocated for these projects is 20, 303, 853m2. 
In order to have further understanding of this, Yemen Times met with Mr. Derhim Abdoh Noman, the vice president of the General Organization of the Free Zone, who said the following: 
The project of the free zone In Aden is one of the most important economic and strategic projects in the Republic of Yemen. The establishment of the containers is a sure sign of the sincere and constructive efforts exerted by the government. What we have achieved, since we started working in the containers ports on 19\3\1999, is really very promising. On the other hand, the industrial storage district is another project included in the projects implemented in the free zone. The security of the free zone is another vocal factor of structural administration for the security of the Aden governorate. There are specific and well planned strategies that will ensure the security and order in the free zone. 
The organization has also signed contracts with different international companies in Europe, America and East Asia to operate new marine lines through the container ports. These countries will certainly make Aden the most important trade center in the Gulf as well as Arabian peninsula. The first biggest ocean-going ship has already arrived to the containers port, carrying 1600 container.