(Business in Cameroon) - On March 2, 2018, the largest vessel to ever berth at a port in Cameroon was accosted in Kribi. This was during the official commissioning of Kribi deepwater port which is considered the largest port infrastructure along the West African coast with a 15-16 meters draught.
For the commissioning of this port whose container terminal is 350 meters long, the French ship-owner, CMA CGM, chartered CMA CGM Bianca, a 335- meter long vessel which shipped a record number of 8,500 containers.
This consecrates the operationalization of the container terminal of Kribi port, which has not been commissioned since the first phase of the construction was completed 2 years ago. Officially, the commissioning was late because of administrative delays.
After the commissioning of this terminal (operated by the Franco-Chinese consortium Bolloré-CHEC-CMA CGM), Cameroon should quickly select a concessionaire for the multipurpose terminal. Indeed, there has been no new operator for this terminal since NECOTRANS (concessionaire of the port since August 2015 with KPMO- Kribi Port Multi Operators which is a consortium of nine local operators) was found defaulting.
For the record, Kribi deepwater port was built by China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC). It cost about CFA250 billion, 85% of which was provided by China through Eximbank China.
Brice R. Mbodiam