(Business in Cameroon) - Kribi Container Terminal (KCT), the concessionaire of the Kribi deep seaport’s container terminal, recently signed a CFAF12 billion loan agreement with SCB Cameroon, the local subsidiary of Moroccan banking group Attijariwafa Bank. The agreement was signed on July 26, 2023, we learn. According to sources within the local banking community, this is the second loan contracted by KCT in the space of one month. In June 2023, the terminal concessionaire signed a loan agreement with the local subsidiary of French group Société Générale.
Sources at the Port Authority of Kribi (PAK), the state-owned company that manages the deep seaport of Kribi, inform that the financing will help carry out works in the framework of "phase 2 of KCT's development project, which should double or even triple the [KCT’s] operational capacity."
In the framework of that second phase, KCT will settle at the second container terminal (710 meters), which is currently under construction. Currently, the concessionaire is operating the first (350 meters).
At the new terminal, KCT will make investments to significantly increase its capacity. To achieve this, the company aims to triple the number of quayside gantries from two, currently, to seven. It will also increase the terminal’s surface area from 14 hectares to 33 hectares, double the number of yard gantries from 10 to 20, and increase the number of tractors from 18 to 48, as well as the number of reefer slots in the terminal from 192 to 370. According to an authorized source, this will enable the terminal to increase its container handling capacity from 9,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) to 22,000 TEU.
This increase in capacity will enable the container terminal to boost its business, which has been growing steadily since the launch of its activities on the Kribi port platform in March 2018. Indeed, according to data compiled by PAK, in its five years of operation, the container terminal has posted an average annual growth of 35% in cargo volumes. "That's 119% growth in import volumes, 63% in export volumes, and 35% in transshipment volumes," the PAK stresses.
On June 8, 2022, in Kribi, during the inauguration of the port's first logistics hub built by the Bolloré Group, Philippe Labonne, then Chairman of what was still Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL), even announced that in the first quarter of 2022, KCT became the leading container terminal in Cameroon, outranking the Port of Douala’s. According to the executive, as of March 31, 2022, the Kribi container terminal was controlling 53% of container traffic in Cameroon and the hinterland (CAR, Chad, Congo), compared with 47% for the Douala terminal, operated by the Port Authority of Douala (PAD) through the delegated agency RTC.
Brice R. Mbodiam