New companies now interestedCorruption blamed for ending AFZ’s contract [Archives:2003/683/Front Page]

November 6 2003

By Mohammed bin Salam
and Ridhwan al-Saqqaf
Yemen Times Staff

Administrative corruption is the reason behind the recent withdrawal of Yeminvest from the Aden Free Zone (AFZ), according to members of the Yemen parliament.
The parliament noted that mishandling of funds “forced the executing company of the project to terminate the operational contract with the authorities due to the great losses it met during the last 7 years of operation.”
The Yemeni government officially accused the Yemeni company for international development (Yeminvest) on Oct. 28 for mishandling the AFZ, and consequently terminated the contract. It was obliged to pay the company a compensation of U.S. 200 million.
Yeminvest had underlying contracts with international companies to operate the ports in Aden Containers of which the Singaporean PSA Corporation was one. This company had controlled the operations in the Containers area, the storage area and the two industrial zones according to an agreement with the Yemeni government signed in 1996.
The report states that the Yemeni government had fallen in debt by US $600 million, which is a dangerous indicator, especially that the expected accumulated interest through the coming 20 years would reach US 3.5 billion. Ironically, this is one billion more than the annual budget for the whole country, according to a member of the Parliament interested in economist issues.
The same source described the contract as a “disaster on the Free Zone and on Yemen generally”. And he added that this sort of project is proof that the Yemeni administration is a failure in planning an event which was repaired through cancellation of the contract.
The previous parliament had warned of this agreement and exposed its hazardous effects on the national economy and on the future of the free zone.
The Yemen Times has also been told that foreign companies expressed signs of interest in running the port as soon as the contract was terminated with Yeminvest.
The Yemeni government is now looking into the conditions and terms of reference that any new company should fulfill in order to rent the containers port in the Free Zone. Once this is done a tender will take place and the willing companies will bid and the chosen company will be selected carefully.
After putting an agreement to an end with the Yeminvest from operating at the Aden Free Zone, conditions have been currently laid down by the Yemeni government for the Aden Terminal Containers to be run by other interested companies.
The Yemen Times has recently learned that a number of foreign companies have showed their interest to run the project immediately.
Meanwhile, there is activity at the wharves of the Aden harbors, anchors, terminal containers and Aden refinery harbors.
The number of the anchored ships from January to September reached 1,253 ships and oil supertankers coming from different harbors in the world.
A navigation source said last week that 180 containers were unloaded by a Yemeni supertanker, which has come from the Latin America.
In addition to this, the same supertanker loaded 60 containers, which includes a number of different Yemeni exports.
Cereals were unloaded at the al-Mualla wharves, estimated at 30,000 tones by the Turkish ship, Nora.
In addition to this, oil derivatives estimated at 10,900 tones of the Oil Supertanker were also unloaded. A freight of the Yemeni oil derivatives also loaded by World Spring was estimated at 5,000 tones.
About 22,600 of cereals and fuels were unloaded at the Hodiedah harbor by two ships from Cyprus.
Statistics issued by the General Authority Harbors also show that a ship has arrived to its draft waiting for anchoring at the harbor, with about 80,000 tones of sugar.
Assaleef harbor has just received one ship with 62,000 tones of cereals. At the same time, 9,900 tones of cereals have been unloaded to the same harbor.