Chinese construction firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), on Thursday launched the construction of a 110 million U.S. dollars Modjo dry port expansion project in central Ethiopia.
The Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Ethiopia's largest dry port was attended by senior Ethiopian government and World Bank officials.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dagmawit Moges, Ethiopia Minister of Transport, said the expansion of Modjo dry port will modernize landlocked Ethiopia's logistics sector.
The Modjo dry port is a key transportation and logistics facilitator between Ethiopia's hinterland and ports in neighboring Djibouti. The expansion project encompasses construction of six warehouses, several road and pavement works, multipurpose buildings and various operating facilities.
"In the logistics sector, the effect of undertaking successful work on quality, modernization and efficiency isn't limited to our country, but will also highlight the role of our trade and logistics in the region as well as globally," Moges said.
"Increasing our logistics capacity will make Ethiopia a prosperous and a preferable destination for investment inflow," Moges said.
Moges also detailed her country's long-term commitment to expand and modernize the logistics sector.
"In our new 10-year development plan of the sector, we plan construction of many road and rail projects," said Moges.
"This includes development of road expressways, development of corridor lines individually and in clusters as well as development of new dry ports," she said.
Ousmane Dione, the Ethiopian country director of the World Bank which finances the project, praised the expected benefits of the expansion project.
"This is a long awaited, but extremely important civil works for the advancement of Modjo as a colorful logistics hub of Ethiopia," Dione said.
"It is a transformative initiative which comprises comprehensive infrastructure enhancement of the port and associated facilities that are currently not available such as export consolidation, dry port storage and multi-model transfer platform to make import-export activities more seamless," he said.
Wu Jiuyi, Deputy General Manager of the CCECC Ethiopia Branch, expressed commitment to undertake a speedy, efficient construction of the project.
"Our company is one of the builders and currently an operator of the 752.7 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway. The Modjo dry port expansion will increase the capacity of the railway," Wu said.
"We will try our best to complete this project with quality and efficiency," he said.
The 752.7 km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, the first electrified transnational railway in East Africa, is contracted by two Chinese companies, China Railway Group and CCECC.