Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Togo Gets Funding for New Shipping Container Terminal

Lome Port to Get Redeveloped
Shipping News Feature

TOGO - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a £52 million ($84 million) loan for the construction of a new container terminal at the Lome Port in Togo. The project involves the construction, development and operation of a new container handling terminal which will have an annual handling capacity of 1.5 million TEU (20-feet equivalent container units). A Togolese company, Lomé Container Terminal S.A, will execute the project.

The Lome port in the Gulf of Guinea is one of the few deep water ports in Western and Central Africa. It serves as a hub on the West African coast because of its ideal location and serves as a gateway to landlocked Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, as well as the northern parts of Nigeria. Projected increases in regional and international trade mean that the port’s existing capacity of 220,000TEU is likely to prove insufficient for requirements in the near future.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is reported to be the terminal’s anchor customer. MSC will enter into a terminal services agreement committing to channel most of its west African cargo through the terminal.

At the regional level, the terminal has the potential to drive operational efficiency throughout the West Coast of Africa shipping market that will provide importers and exporters better access to foreign markets at reduced costs. This should stimulate competition in the regional shipping and logistics market that is expected to catalyze further regional integration. The project will encourage other port facilities in the region to improve their efficiency and infrastructure in order to remain competitive.

In a statement the African Development Bank said:

“The Lome Container Terminal (LCT) project is also expected to spur the expansion of Togo’s maritime sector, generate tax revenues for the government, and increase consumer and shipping lines savings. Moreover, increased container traffic would enhance linkages with local transport businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized enterprises. Togo should also benefit from port operation and management know-how, resulting in skills upgrade for the local workforce.”

(pic: Existing facilities at Lome)