Dubai’s DP World said on Monday an arbitration tribunal in London ruled that Djibouti’s port company, Port de Djibouti S.A. (PDSA) breached a joint venture agreement over a container terminal with DP World by wrongfully attempting to end it.
The government of Djibouti, which is responsible for the port, could not immediately be reached for comment.
DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, and Djibouti have been in dispute since 2012 over DP World’s concession to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal, located in the Horn of Africa along strategic trade routes at the southern entrance to the Red Sea.
Djibouti said in 2018 it was placing the terminal in state hands and since then it has been operated by a management company controlled by the Djibouti government.
DP World called the seizure illegal, and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) ruled in August 2018 that the company’s contract in Djibouti was valid and binding.
The LCIA could not immediately be contacted on Monday.
DP World said in a statement on Monday the court ruled that PDSA remained a shareholder in the joint venture, and its attempted transfer of its shares to the government had no effect.
The arbitration will proceed to a second phase to decide the damages owed by PDSA to DP World, the DP World statement, published online, said.
DP World said that it will pursue all legal means to defend its rights as shareholder and concessionaire in the Doraleh Container Terminal, of which it owns a third.