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Port of Assab / Aseb

The Port of Assab is located in southern Eritrea along the Red Sea.

In mid-2002 reports surfaced indicating that US Central Command was considering Assab as a potential staging point for US forces in the Horn of Africa. While CENTCOM admits that their is an interest in working with the Eritrean government, but that as of late 2002 there were no US military forces operating in the country.

The port of Assab can only provide berthing space for seven ships and its draft is limited to a maximum of 10 meters. Furthermore, the overall length of ships that Assab can handle is limited to 200 meters.

The port of Assab was connected by road with Addis Ababa. Developed by the imperial government in the late 1950s, Asab, together with Djibouti, principally served Ethiopia's central and southern areas. In l988 Asab handled about 7l percent of the export-import trade. In EFY l986/87, more than 2.8 million tons of cargo transited Asab, of which about 66 percent consisted of imports, including about 792,000 tons of crude oil for Asab's refinery. Although the port of Asab was not threatened, antigovernment forces repeatedly attacked the Addis Ababa-Asab highway.

The ports total capacity is 209,000 metric tons, with 200,000 of it in open storage and the remaining 9,000 in open shed. The ports grain storage facilities can handle a total of 55,000mt with 30,000mt in open area and 25,000mt in open plus closed sheds. The total apporoximate capacity is 264,000mt.

The port is operational 24 hrs a day handling the stevedoring and shore handling works.

Within 24 hrs. operation and in normal working circumstances the port can discharge a maximum of 2,800mt. - 3,000mt/per vessel of bulk cargo which also depending on the availability and allocation of bagging machines. The past experience has proved that the port in exceptional operations has reached a daily discharge rate of more than 4,000mt/per vessel with bulk/bagged relief cargo.

There are 9 shore cranes on each jetty making a total of 18 cranes.

The port does not have any facilities for containers. In terms of operational flexibility all port activities in Assab are under government-company monopoly and involves extensive bureaucratic procedures, which causes excessive delays in processing transit goods.

As of June 2002, the port, which had been idle since the start of the Ethio-Eritrean War, was undergoing repair and maintenance at the cost of roughly $57 million paid for by foreign firms.

The ports of Massawa and Assab presently handle 2.5 million tons of goods through thirteen commercial and nine specialised berths with a joint capacity of 480,000 cubic metres of space.

A naval base at Assab, when it was part of Ethiopia included a ship-repair facility.

The port can accommodate 6 vessels at one time on the following berths and drafts.

NUMBER 2 10. meters "
3 9.1 meters. "
8 5.6 meters SOUTH JETTY
9 8.2 meters "
10 8.8 meters "
11 9.7 meters "
11A 9.7 meters "

Combined length of the North Jetty is 490 meters, and the South Jetty is 530 meters. Bulk grain is generally restricted to berth 1 and berth 2. General cargo vessels usually use berths 3,9,10 and 11. Berth 8 is mainly for coast guard but also coasters. Berth number 11A is for RO/RO Ships.

The port performance with the following port equipments.

2.1 MOBILE CRANES.............Total qty ....8

2.2 FORKLIFTS........................Total quantity...29

4 tones 20
6 " 2
10 " 2
3 " 5

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:42:46 ZULU