The construction of the Cote d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT) at the Port of Abidjan has entered its second phase, according to APM Terminals (APMT).
The terminal operator said it signed a contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the development of what would be the Port’s second container terminal.
The project is being run as a joint venture between APMT and Bollore and it will include a $473 million investment between them. The companies have a joint 20-year concession to run the terminal.
APMT said the first phase of the project was handled by the Port Autonome d’Abidjan (PAA) and consisted of deepening and widening of the Vridi Canal access channel.
More than 45 hectares of land was also reclaimed for the creation of the new terminal and an adjacent Roll-on Roll-off facility.
An $80 million expansion at the existing Abidjan Terminal was already completed in 2015, increasing its annual container capacity from 800,000 TEU to 1.5m TEU.
Once completed, CIT will have a maximum draft of -18 metres. The terminal’s 1,100m quay will be able to accommodate vessels up to -18 metres, providing scope for accepting larger vessels in the future.
The terminal will have a rail yard with two tracks of 300 meters each, and offer reefer plugs for up to 1,100 containers.
The terminal also signed a contract this month for the supply of 6 post-panamax gantry cranes, 13 e-RTG’s and 36 Tugmasters. Additional equipment is already included in future plans, once the terminal approaches an agreed volume threshold.
“Shipping lines have started to deploy very large container vessels on the trades to/from West Africa that need deep water facilities and modern terminals able to handle them with much higher productivity,” said Koen De Backker, Managing Director of CIT, attributing the growth to increasing trade in West Africa and lower slot cost for the services.
The new terminal will help meet growing regional demand and make the Ivory Coast an “attractive” transhipment hub, according to APMT.
“A more efficient and competitive port, with latest generation container handling equipment and deep draft, will help reduce the cost of handling cargo, and fuel trade growth and transhipment volumes,” commented De Backker.