The Somaliland Port of Berbera is set to become the most modern port in the Horn of Africa once inaugurated. Facilities and service will surpass those in the neighbouring Djibouti according to the contractors. DP World, the Dubai maritime company that is involved in the expansion of the port has projected to complete work by February next year. According to the company, the port will be able to handle the biggest ships compared to the other ports in the region and will complement activities at the Port of Djibouti and the Lamu Port which is also under expansion in the coast of Kenya. The Berbera Port expansion is the largest investment in Somaliland since it parted ways with Somalia in 1991. Efforts by the Somali government to block the expansion have come to naught. Somalia had banned DP World from operating in Berbera, saying that a contract that the company signed the breakaway Somaliland to develop the port and economic zone was null and void. However this has not deterred Somaliland government from proceeding with the project which is now almost complete. Work on the port expansion has reduced due to the measures put in place in the fight against the spread of the deadly coronavirus but the Somaliland government and the DP World have projected all facilities will be ready for operation early 2021. \u201cWe are very much on course. Of course the coronavirus has affected the speed at which we were on, but we will soldier on and deliver the most modern port facility in Berbera,\u201d an official of the DP World said. The Berbera port expansion, designed to equip the Somaliland port for major vessels and transform it into one of Africa\u2019s pre-eminent facilities. Expansion of the port started early last year with the first phase at a cost $101 million. Federico Banos-Linder, Vice President External Relations, DP World, said once the port is done, Somaliland will be one of the biggest and most modern players in the maritime industry in the Horn of Africa. \u201cAlready with phase one of the three phases done, we have increased the container capacity by 50 per cent and pushed volumes by 70 per cent which is a massive improvement. \u201cWe are now exporting 4 million livestock from 1.5 million just less than a year ago,\u201d said Banos-Linder. Total investment of the two phases will reach $442m. The port\u2019s current capacity is around 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and is set to expand to 450,000 TEUs once development is complete. DP World firm will also create an economic free zone in the surrounding area, targeting a range of companies in sectors from logistics to manufacturing, and a $100m road-based economic corridor connecting Berbera with Wajaale in Ethiopia \u201cOur aim is to make this an important regional hub for the maritime industry in the Horn of Africa,\u201d DP World chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan bin Sulayem said. \u201cWe are within schedule in our work,\u201d he added.DP World holds a 51 per cent stake in the Berbera port, while Ethiopia holds 19 per cent and Somaliland the rest. In recent years, DP world has stepped up its investments in Africa in order to capture the continent\u2019s growth potential.