AfDB Provides €80 Million Loan For Benin Port Expansion
A new container terminal is under construction.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a €80 million (US$88 million) loan to support a project to upgrade and expand the Port of Cotonou in Benin.
The loan comprises €55 million from the AfDB, with a 15-year tenor and a five-year grace period, and €25 million from Africa Growing Together Fund, which it co-finances with People’s Bank of China.
The funding will support the construction of a new container terminal (Terminal 5) and the expansion of the port area to 20 hectares to handle bulk and miscellaneous cargo.
The project also entails the creation of a central access point with automated gantries, a 14-hectare parking area for heavy-goods vehicles equipped with a digital management system linked to the port’s database, and an integrated centre for faster freight processing. This will cut transit time in the port area to two hours and relieve congestion along nearby roads.
Construction work got underway a couple of years ago and is being executed by China Harbour Engineering Company. The project is expected to be completed within three years.
The Port of Cotonou is considered a gateway port and receives 80-90 merchant vessels a month. It handles 90% of Benin’s international trade as well as transit traffic directed to Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.
In 2022, the Port of Cotonou handled 12.5 million tonnes of goods. It is hoped this figure will nearly double to 23 million tonnes by 2038.
Established in 1964, the Port of Cotonou has been managed by the international Port of Antwerp-Bruges since 2018.
The AfDB is also mobilising US$18.3 million of concessional climate finance from the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund. Due diligence is ongoing. Approvals are expected in September.
The construction of Terminal 5 forms part of the wider Port of Cotonou 2021-26 investment programme to renovate and replace obsolete port infrastructure and increase the facility's handling capacity to more than 20 million tonnes a year. The total investment is estimated at €462 million.
In July 2022, a consortium led by France's Eiffage Génie Civil Marine was awarded a €160 million design and build contract to renovate the northern and southern docks at the port.
Photo: Port of Cotonou (www.flickr.com/photos/portdecotonou)