After more than eight months have passed since the Beirut Port exploded and destroyed large parts of the Lebanese capital, a European project to reconstruct the Port of Beirut and turn it into a model port of modern technology relies on automation in terms of productivity, quality and space, leaving room for the development of a sustainable and societal urban project. According to European Union standards, to be available to all.
This is the most prominent of what was mentioned in the press conference held today to present the “European project to revive the port of Beirut and the surrounding region,” in the presence of the President of the Council, Elias Aswad, the Governor of Beirut, Marwan Abboud, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lebanon, Andreas Kindl, and a delegation from Hamburg Port Consulting and Colliers International. And that will be Friday, April 9, 2021, in Beit Beirut, Sodeco-Beirut.
In a speech delivered by Elias Aswad, Chairman of the Lebanese-German Businessmen Council, he stressed that the priority today is three elements: First, renewing container terminals, improving handling operations to the maximum by using technology-based automation to maximize the role of work and significantly improve maintenance services, which leads to Increasing efficiency and maximizing performance; Secondly, redesigning the traditional maritime trade into an ultra-modern port where automation can significantly reduce handling costs, speed up administrative procedures and push for efficient loading and unloading of cargo to reduce docking to less than 48 hours; And third, to take advantage of empty spaces (used today for storage) and areas unsuitable for the use of goods, to expand the activities of the port, introduce a tourist section in it, open the way for local residents and visitors, and redesign green spaces.
Read also: In the Beirut Port explosion: Special request from Lebanon to Interpol regarding the ammonium ship
Suheil Mahayni, General Manager of Hamburg Port Consulting, spoke of the relationship between the German company and the port of Beirut, noting a deep commitment to preparing the port for the future: “We have strived for a vision that creates jobs for tens of thousands of people and rebuilds hundreds of thousands. Of the damaged homes and the opening of Beirut to the sea, and the provision of new livable and socially oriented houses in parts of the harbor that are not suitable to be operated as a port. Therefore, we cooperated with Colliers International, the global real estate expert, to present a unique vision that achieves these goals, with the support of the German government. ”
Lars Greiner, Associate Partner and Responsible for the Middle East at Hamburg Port Consulting, expressed his pride in providing support for the return of Beirut Port, saying: “We seek to develop a project that not only aims to transform the Beirut Port area into a global port with the latest technology, but also Preparing it for continuous growth and development in the rapidly changing digitization and automation of international trade and logistics. The new port focuses on improving cargo movement and cargo mixes that support fast-paced and affordable imports and exports, allowing the development of modern and efficient container terminals. ”
A new “Mar Mikhael neighborhood”
For his part, Professor Hermann Schnell, Director General of Colliers Germany and Head of the Department of Architecture and Workplace Consulting, proposed the creation of a new “Mar Mikhael neighborhood” for a diverse and vibrant Beirut with a mix of different residential buildings including affordable housing for families , Green spaces and good infrastructure with schools, medical, sports and cultural facilities. He added: “This neighborhood will be built in parts of the port that are not suitable for its operation as a port, as it was used as warehouses. We are convinced that, with adequate support from decision-makers, this project will attract private international capital, and the profits of this development project could pay for the reconstruction of the harbor and the restoration of the Old City. It is important to complete this project in a completely transparent structure to effectively serve the people of Beirut. ”
According to the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and the Knowledge Economy, the Mar Mikhael neighborhood project could generate up to $ 30 billion in the Lebanese economy through value-added, taxes and social security contributions over a 25-year period. It could also secure more social, economic and environmental benefits to civil society in Beirut and the surrounding region.
In his intervention, German Ambassador to Lebanon Andreas Kindl considered that Beirut port is at the heart of economic activities in Lebanon, and therefore it should be at the core of Beirut’s redevelopment. Kindl also called on all Lebanese stakeholders and political actors to “meet the expectations of the Lebanese people by contributing to the formation of a credible government capable of implementing the necessary reforms. Deep economic and administrative reforms.