During a visit to the port of Berbera - 154 kilometres from the capital Hargeisa - DP World Group head of port operations Ali Ismail Mohamed told Ethiopian journalists: "Construction of the first phase begins in September and bids will be awarded to potential developers."The port project, in which DP World holds a 51 per cent share, Somaliland 30 per cent and Ethiopia 19 per cent, is expected to be finalised by 2020. The port facility, which currently has the capacity to handle 150,000 TEU, is expected to expand to handle one million TEU.The Somaliland Port Authority has already consolidated port management operations and let DP World acquire positions in the management and operational activities at the existing port facilities. The US$442 million port, according to Mr Mohamed, will be developed in two phases.During the first phase of development, a 430-metre berth will be constructed to accommodate two vessels at a time. The overall expansion project will deliver a total of 800 metres of berth that can dock five ships simultaneously. The existing port facility accommodates five major vessels on a 650-metre long berth.The project, however, is regarded as a threat by the Somalia and Djiboutian authorities. Somalia opposed the project claiming it has violated its sovereignty while Djibouti didn't like Berbera port becoming a potential rival as it takes a considerable share of volume from what it currently enjoys.