Port

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    The Port of Beirut () is the main port in Lebanon located on the eastern part of the Saint George Bay on Beirut’s northern Mediterranean coast, west of the Beirut River. It is one of the largest and busiest ports on the Eastern Mediterranean. The Port of Beirut and Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport are the main ports of entry into the country. The port is operated and managed by the Gestion et exploitation du port de Beyrouth (GEPB), which is French for Port Authority of Beirut. Container terminal operations are subcontracted to a private consortium called the Beirut Container Terminal Consortium (BCTC). Since the end of the Lebanese Civil War in 1990, the port has gone through a major updating and expansion program with the rehabilitation of existing port facilities, the construction of new administration buildings, and the construction of a new container terminal. It’s an important gateway for transporting freight to Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and the Gulf States. The Port of Beirut has a total area of 1,200,000m2 and has 4 basins, 16 quays, and a new container terminal at quay 16 capable of handling per year. The Free Zone includes three industrial buildings with warehouses covering a total area of 32,400m2 and a commercial building with 46 duty-free shops covering an area of 11,200m2. In 2007, the Logistic Free Zone (LFZ) was established containing several logistics warehouses where goods can undergo transformations before being exported via land, sea, and air or imported into Lebanon. The general cargo area consists of 12 warehouses and a grain silo with a capacity of 120,000 tons of grain. The Port of Beirut has been selected as a transshipment hub for the second and third largest container shipping companies in the world, Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and French-based Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement – Compagnie Générale Maritime (CMA-CGM). The latter building a $12 million regional headquarters building near the port. The passenger terminal is located along quay 5 facing the second basin of the port. The facility was deemed outdated and inadequate, so it is being reconstructed into a modern 600m2 facility that will have a decorative front sail structure. It is scheduled for completion early this year. The historic first basin of the port, which hosts the Beirut Naval Base, will be completely redeveloped by Solidere, the $2 billion Lebanese real estate company that is rebuilding the Beirut Central District (BCD). The redevelopment will involve transforming quays 1 and 2 into a public promenade along with the construction of leisure commercial properties. The port lacks a railway connection, however, as part of long term plans to reinstate the railway system in Lebanon, plans are to have a railway link to the port.

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