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Operation of Central Africa’s only deep seaport in Kribi blocked

Despite assurance from Patrice Melom, Managing Director of the multi-billion FCFA Kribi deep seaport that the port will go operational…

Despite assurance from Patrice Melom, Managing Director of the multi-billion FCFA Kribi deep seaport that the port will go operational during the first quarter of 2017, reports say the port is yet to dock its first vessel.

The port, whose construction works were completed two years ago, continues to corrode as authorities keep postponing its commissioning.

Media reports say the two tugboats purchased and received since 2014 by the government are still to be sent for servicing. The delays, sources say emanates from administrative setbacks given that the consortium which won the concession contracts to manage the multi-purpose and container terminals are still waiting for the government’s approval to start operations on their respective terminal.  The signing of the concession contract for the management of the container terminal, scheduled for February 2, was adjourned indefinitely for unclear reasons.

Even though the management of the port regularly tests the port equipment, by carrying out operations simulating vessel arrivals and departures, Cameroonians are still waiting for the vessels, which are at the moment virtual, to become real.

Built by the Chinese company CHEC, with funding from Eximbank China, the Kribi port has 650m docks, including 350m for the container terminal and 265.5m for the multi-purpose terminal. The two terminals have respective capacities of 1.2 million tons per year.

The second phase of construction will be aimed at expanding the terminal to 700 long and extending the port to 1,050 m, as well as the construction of an ore terminal and an oil terminal. With a 15.5m-long channel, the port infrastructure, which can take in vessels with a draught of 16 m, experts hold will be the best within the West African coastline.

 

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