1 August 2019
DP World has described the government of Djibouti’s decision to apply a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court that all previous international adjudications concerning the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) are null and void as a “complete disregard for and contravention of the global legal system and existing contracts”.
In a statement, the terminal operator says Djibouti has demonstrated a complete disregard for “recognized legal practice and respect for contracts calling into question any investment in the country both now and in the future”.
The move is the latest in the long-running dispute between DP World and Djibouti around the DCT.
DP World was awarded the concession for the DCT in 2006 but was expelled in February 2018 following Djibouti seizure of the terminal.
Five rulings from the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) have deemed the seizure illegal and called on Djibouti to respect the concession agreement.
The latest, in March 2019, ordered Djibouti to pay DP World US$385 million, plus interest, for breaking the concession agreement.
Furthermore, the LCIA also found that Djibouti developed new container port opportunities with China Merchants Holdings International Co. (China Merchants), which was a further breach of the concession agreement.
DP World has also undertaken litigation against China Merchants in front of a Hong Kong court. PTI has reported extensively on this story.