A consortium comprising Bolloré Africa Logistics, CMA CGM, and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been awarded the coveted 20-year concession to operate the new container terminal at the deepwater port of Kribi in Cameroon.
A source close to the consortium told IHS Maritime that negotiations would now start on the terms of the concession agreement.
The source was unable to say, however, when the concession was likely to come into force at the terminal, construction of which has already been completed by CHEC. The Cameroonian government is understood to be keen to see operations start quickly there, however, so as to ease congestion at the country’s main container terminal in Douala.
There were reports in April that Bolloré and its partners had been eliminated from the shortlist for the concession for which the Philippines’ ICTSI and APM Terminals were the leading contenders.
Other reports said that Bolloré and its partners had been the high bidders for the concession with an offer of EUR623.4 million (USD704 million) compared with EUR467.3 million for ICTSI and EUR403.6 million for APM Terminals.
Bolloré declined to confirm these figures today, however, saying only that it and its partners had won the concession against competition from “all the sector’s major players”.
The terminal currently offers a 350 m wharf but this will be extended to 700 m within five years. Kribi can currently accommodate vessels drawing up to 15 m and carrying up to 8,000 containers.
Bolloré stated that direct road and rail links would enable the new port to play a regional role but also, with the support of CMA CGM, to serve as a transhipment hub.
“It will make a major contribution to boosting growth and development, regenerating the whole country and surrounding region,” it said.