An MoU was signed on Wednesday with four companies for the construction of an integrated industrial zone within the port of Kribi.
The parties involved are Tangier Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA), which oversees the Tangier MED port complex in Morocco; Bolloré Africa Logistics of France, which is now owned by the Italian-Swiss company MSC as of December 2022; ICTSI, a Filipino operator present at the port of Kribi’s multipurpose terminal; and CHEC, which built the port and operates its container terminal in a joint venture with Bolloré and the French shipowner CMA CGM.
The project, which is estimated to cost $900 million (CFA 550.3 billion), will be set up on 1,500 acres. According to the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), the project is anticipated to generate 50,000 direct jobs.
Overview of the integrated industrial zone project
According to PAK, the project consists of the development, operation, and maintenance of 1,500 gross hectares of land.
With a view to the installation of logistical and industrial activities. The majority of the projects are related to deforestation, earthmoving, and constructing VRD (such as telecommunications, water, electricity, public lighting, and roads). As well as constructing buildings for commercial usage (high-standing business centers, warehouses, etc.).
Afterward, all of this infrastructure will be made accessible to companies on a rental basis. With the added benefit of taking advantage of the provisions of the 2013 law governing economic zones in Cameroon. Recall that these two laws provide substantial tax and customs exemptions to companies, both during the installation and manufacturing phases.
Furthermore, the port will become one of the largest platforms in Africa as a result of the integrated industrial zone. Which is projected to bring about a number of advantages. They range from an increase in activity and traffic at the port of Kribi to an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI), an improvement in the competitiveness of Cameroon’s international trade, or even a contribution to the industrialization of the nation following the National Development Strategy 2020–2030.
Cameroon: Phase 1 of the Kribi deepwater port project launched
The launch ceremony for Phase 1 of the deepwater port project in Kribi, Cameroon, was undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.
(CHEC), was held in early October this year.
Located about 30 kilometers south of south Cameroon’s city of Kribi, the Deepwater Port project involves the construction of a 50,000t container berth, a 40,000t multi-purpose berth, as well as relevant supporting facilities such as breakwater and port machinery, with a contract value of 489 million US dollars and a construction period of 36 months.
After completion, the Kribi Deepwater Port will play a positive role in promoting Cameroon’s economic development as a large container transit port and integrated hub port in Central Africa and West Africa.
Phase 2 construction of Deep sea port in Cameroon approved
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 for Vision 2035 by unlocking the country’s mining potential, enhancing trade with the neighboring countries, and creating job opportunities.
However, China Exim Bank has approved additional funding for the extension of the project. In 2007, the bank injected US$498m for the first phase of the project which had been executed by the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).
Phase I of the project has been equipped with a 362-meter-long container berth of 50 000 dead weight tonnage (dwt), a breakwater 120-meter-long, a 308-meter-long general berth of 40 000dwt, and a 9 600m2 housing construction.
Phase II of the project will involve the construction of a 1,102m long quay, 2 hydro-carbon berths, 2 bulk cargo berths, and 2 container berths. Additionally, 20 terminals will be constructed and a quay measuring 6.5km. The project will consume 42 months to complete.
According to Louis Paul Motaze, the Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, US$ 524.5m part of the funding will be obtained on a preferential basis whereas the US$150m will be given out as a concessional loan. Additionally, the Exim Bank of China has offered seven years grace period and a maturity time frame of 20 years and the loan will be repaid at an interest rate of 2% per annum.
On completion, the port will be the trade center for the entire region serving 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 better future development of the project.
The 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 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 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 the Democratic Republic of Congo, has its vision-based medium-term objectives, notably, poverty alleviation, becoming a middle-income, newly industrialized country, and consolidating democracy.