Cameroon : A 2nd container terminal to be built in Douala port

Douala Autonomous Port (Port autonome de Douala-PAD), the company in charge of the management of Douala port, is preparing the construction of a second container terminal. This was revealed by the specialized magazine dedicated to structuring projects in the Douala-Bonaberi port.

According to the magazine, this terminal could be funded under a Built Operate Transfer (BOT) scheme, “either on the left bank as an extension to the current container terminal or on the right bank.” Feasibility studies and concession agreements are expected to be completed by the end of December 2019, the source adds.

This project is revealed at a time when the PAD is conducting a process to select a new concessionaire for the first terminal, which is being operated by Douala International Terminal (DIT) since 2005. This company is controlled by the consortium Bolloré-APM Terminals. Candidate to its own succession, the consortium has not been shortlisted at the end of the international call for expression of interest. Five candidates have been shortlisted, two of which have already submitted their offers for the restricted tender procedure.

“This is not an eviction (…) the consortium you are referring to [Ed note: Bolloré-APM Terminals] freely participated in the competition but, it was not in the top five after an appraisal of the candidates ranked, based on strict criteria, by the ad hoc internal commission” formed for this operation, the PAD’s managing director Cyrus Ngo’o explained during an interview with Jeune Afrique.

To understand the reason it was not selected after 20 years at the container terminal, the consortium Bolloré-APM Terminals filed an action before Douala administrative court, official sources indicate.

An authorized source within the consortium explained that in case of unsatisfactory explanations, the grouping could possibly try an international arbitration procedure or even demand the termination of the concession procedure. For the time being, the procedure is being carried out “peacefully,” the PAD indicates.

Meanwhile, Dubaï Port World and Suisse Terminal Investment Ltd, which submitted their offers during the restricted tender process, must prepare to face competition from this second container terminal as of 2021.

Brice R. Mbodiam

Business in Cameroon

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