The report was drawn up by the UK/Dutch Posford Haskoning, with Lebanon’s Khatib & Alamiand the local Al-Baraka Economic Consultancy. The team expects to launch the next phase of the project, comprising detailed design studies, in the first quarter, pending the approval of the ministry. Tenders for the first dredging and construction packages are due to be issued in the fourth quarter.

The project entails building a ship repair yard, naval and commercial docking facilities and cargo berths at the port, which presently caters for small craft. Work will also involve the construction of two breakwaters, a 500-metre quay wall and a floating dry dock with capacity to handle 25,000-35,000-dwt vessels. The existing harbour basin is expected to require dredging to a depth of 10 metres.