The Gambia Approves Port PPP Concession
The concession is for the expansion of Banjul port and a new deep seaport.
The Gambian government has approved the award of a public-private partnership (PPP) concession for the expansion of the Port of Banjul and the development of a new deep seaport at Sanyang village in the West Coast region along the country's southern coastline.
The PPP concessionaires are a team of Turkey’s Albayrak Grubu and Negmar, with the Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) serving as a guarantor and shareholder in the special purpose vehicle (SPV).
The official notice confirming the concession states that Albayrak Grubu and Negmar will act as the lead in the SPV with the responsibility for the construction of the port facilities, while the other two preferred bidders - Saudi Arabia's Red Sea Gateway Terminals and Yilport of Turkey - will hold equity stakes "to leverage on their respective competencies and investment opportunities".
The construction of the deep seaport in Sanyang and the expansion of the Banjul port will run concurrently and is expected to be concluded within two years.
The transaction adviser for the concession was Maritime Transport Business Services of Netherlands.
India's WAPCOS completed an environmental and social impact assessment for the fourth phase expansion of Banjul port in July 2022. It states the project involves the construction of a new container terminal, an expansion and strengthening of the main jetty, the rehabilitation of the existing terminal, the relocation of the ferry terminal and improvements to access roads.
The estimated cost of the expansion is US$129 million. The project is being supported with funding from the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Currently, Banjul port has a container handling capacity of 150,000 TEUS and a general cargo capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year. The port facilities have not kept pace with the growth in shipping demand. Albayrak Grubu says throughput could increase to 400,000 TEUS by 2040.
The new Sanyang deep seaport is intended to reduce congestion in Banjul and offer increased opportunities for integration with neighbouring countries such as Senegal, Mali and Guinea Bissau.
The first phase of the Sanyang port is planned to start operations in 2025.
The GPA invited international port operators to apply for the Port of Banjul concession in March 2022.
The Gambian government has also approved the PPP concession agreement between the GPA and Spain's Grupo Rodman for the rehabilitation of Banjul Shipyard.
The Banjul shipyard was established in 1924. The concession agreement is to rehabilitate, redevelop and operate the yard, including adding new cranes, a new mooring and repairing dock with a 4-metre draft, and new shed and workshop facilities.
The shipyard facilities will also be expanded to include the relocation of the Gambia Navy Command Centre and part of the Banjul Fisheries Jetty administrative area. Bids were invited in September 2022.
The GPA says the concession will create the facility for new ship building projects targeting the wider sub-regional market and beyond.
Top photo: Shipping containers (© Tobias Arhelger | Dreamstime)