The construction work on the second phase at the Kribi Deep sea port in Cameroon has been approved. The US$675.5m project aims at boosting the country’s ambitions Vision 2035 by unlocking the country’s mining potential, enhance trade with the neighbouring countries and create jobs opportunities.
However, China Exim Bank has approved additional funding for the extension of the project. In 2007, the bank injected US$498m for the first phase of the project which had been executed by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
Phase I of the project has been equipped with a 362 meter long container berth of 50 000 dead weight tonnage (dwt), a breakwater 120-meter-long, a 308-meter long general berth of 40 000dwt, and a 9 600m2 of housing construction.
Phase II of the project will involve construction of a 1,102m long quay, 2 hydro-carbon berths, 2 bulk cargo berths and 2 container berths. Additionally, 20 terminals will be constructed and a quay measuring 6.5km.The project will consume 42months to complete.
According to Louis Paul Motaze, the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, US$ 524.5m part of the funding will be obtained on preferential basis whereas the US$150m will be given out as a concessional loan. Additionally, Exim Bank of China has offered seven years grace period and a maturity time frame of 20years and the loan will be repaid at an interest rate of 2% per annum.
On completion the port will be the trade centre for the entire region serving the landlocked countries such as Chad and the Central African Republic. Minister Motaze has also revealed plans for a third phase whereby 12 berths will be constructed at the northern part of the port for a better future development of the project.
Kribi port project fills the gaps of the Douala port in a significant way. Its 16m-deep draught outscores the Douala port, which is barely 7m in depth. However, Douala port is an estuary port, therefore it requires dredging every year to accommodate a large ships. Kribi will be capable of docking vessels of up to 100,000t. Presently, the port can only take a maximum of 15, 000t.
The project will as well boost the mining sector given that, iron ore and other minerals such as bauxite are being exploited in the country’s South East. Nonetheless, develop of a 510-km railway for the transportation is underway for the transportation of the iron ore from Mbalam to Kribi for export.
Mota-Engil SGPS, a Portuguese construction company has been awarded the contract to build the railway connecting Mbalam (where Australian firm, Sundance Resources is exploiting iron ore) in the east of the country to the deep water port in Kribi in the south.the company will as well construct the iron berth of the deep water port at Kribi which will enable the stocking of cargo from the Mbalam Mine.
Cameroon, central Africa’s second biggest economy after Democratic Republic of Congo, has its vision based medium-term objectives, notably, poverty alleviation, becoming a middle income, newly industrialized country and consolidating democracy.