Eritrea has the seaports of Assab (Aseb), Massawa (Mits'iwa). The World Bank has a Ports Rehabilitation Project designed to increase substantially the productivity and capacity of the two ports of Massawa and Assab. To this end, the project will provide the financial and technical assistance required to rehabilitate and upgrade the two ports, optimizing the use of existing facilities, and to raise the quality and level of services to international standards. The project components are: 1) civil works for Massawa, such as repairs, rehabilitation, extension of berths; 2) cargo handling equipment for Massawa and Assab; 3) environment component comprising facilities and equipment to improve the operating practices at the two ports; 4) training in port operations and equipment maintenance; and 5) consultancy services, such as supervision of the civil works
The disputed areas between Ethiopia and Eritrea
The 1908 colonial treaty established the border by a parallel line and at a distance of 60 Km from the coast, the problems related to this area are the ambiguity caused by speculations on measurements derived from the irregular coastline. The Ethiopians claim that the border is 54 Km from Assab and the Eritreans claim the distance at 71 Km.
America has built a new central command center for its Iraq offensive in the Eritrean port of Assab. The new facility also houses jumping off bases for the US air force and navy. While way off the beaten track, Assab has the great advantage of being positioned strategically near the Bab el Mandeb Straits linking the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden and the mouth of Persian Gulf. The dusty streets of this East African corner have recently filled with white American vans dashing around without license plates but recognizable as military vehicles from their sprouting antennae. In Assab’s harbor, docks and storage facilities have been renovated and closed off as a US military zone. Rooftop aerials and satellite dishes mark out a major US command post.
Assab, 6 October 2007 - The Assab Port Authority is implementing four major renovation and modernization projects at a cost of 14 million Nakfa, according to Mr. Yemane Tewelde, Head of Technical Services in the Authority.
He indicated that 80 meters of the 110-meter ship repair facility have already been renovated and that the remaining ones would be finalized shortly. Stating that water has been trickling into the sea due to old water pipelines in the Port, Mr. Yemane explained that the replacement of the old pipelines with new ones is underway at a cost of over 4 million Nakfa.
He further pointed out that about 117 meters of the jetty facility have been constructed through the Mussa Ali Construction Company and that members of Operation Zone 4 actively participated in the task.
Other renovation work, such as of stores and offices, is also in progress according to reports.
Assab Port Administration
PO Box 58
Ph. +291 (3) 660710 Fax. +291 (3) 661249