FRENCH logistics giant Bollore and Maersk's global port operator APM Terminals (APMT) have joined to build a 1.2 million TEU capacity container facility near the Cote d'Ivoire capital of Abidjan.
It was announced at the ground breaking that the Cote d'Ivoire Terminal (CIT) is expected to be operational by the end of next year, reported St Petersburg PortNews.
Investment comes as a result of continuous stable Ivorian growth, making the country a high-potential market for both imports and exports, said the report.
In recent years, Cote d'Ivoire has achieved a solid GDP growth rate, averaging 6-7 per cent a year, which has resulted in significant growth in import and export volumes.
With the additional capacity provided by CIT, the terminal and the Port of Abidjan will not only cater for the needs of the local market, but also serve as a preferred gateway for neighbouring countries, such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
"Once CIT becomes operational, Abidjan will be the only Port in West Africa capable of handling large vessels of up to 14,000 TEU and will therefore create an attractive value proposition for marine and landside customers, unlocking new opportunities," said APMT vice president David Skov.
Once completed, CIT will have a 1,100-metre quay equipped with STS cranes. The terminal will have a rail yard with two tracks of 300 metres each and offer reefer plugs for up to 1,100 containers.
With the area of 37.5 hectares, CIT will offer greater capacity for handling goods at the Port of Abidjan and improve the flow of the country's imports and exports, while contributing to the development of local communities. It will also serve as a lever for the development of agricultural value chains and will notably benefit local cocoa, cashew and mango producers.