French ocean carrier CMA CGM said it is a member of a consortium that plans to bid and invest between 200 million euros and 250 million euros ($250 million-$315 million) to develop and operate a second container terminal at the Ivory Coast port of Abidjan.
Rodolphe Saade, CMA CGM’s director general, outlined the carrier’s involvement in the tender following a meeting with the West African nation’s president Alassane Ouattara.
“My visit concerns the tender offer the Ivory Coast has decided to launch ... I met with the president to inform him of the interest of CMA CGM in participating in the offer for the second container terminal of the port of Abidjan,” he told reporters.
“The sum we envisage is of the order of 200 million to 250 million euros to develop the container terminal.”
CMA CGM later issued a clarification from its Marseilles headquarters. “CMA CGM does not intend to participate in this project alone. It will invest as part of a consortium alongside other partners who would also finance the project.”
“The amounts mentioned concern the entire project and not CMA CGM’s share, which will be more limited.”
The Ivory Coast, the gateway to several landlocked African nations, plans to almost triple the annual capacity of Abidjan to 2.3 million 20-foot container units by 2016.
The current terminal, which is operated by France’s Bollore group, handles around 800,000 TEUs at present.
Saade said CMA CGM is looking at other opportunities in West Africa where seaborne trade is growing by 8 to 10 percent annually and attracting interest from its competitors.
Separately, Reuters quoted Sie Hien, CEO of the port of Abidjan, as saying that around 20 companies, including Maersk and MSC, have already submitted bids for the tender, which opens on July 18.
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