Port Operator ICTSI to Double Capacity at Congo Terminal
Philippines-based port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) will more than double the capacity of its container terminal in Congo as part of a $100 million expansion, the company said on Thursday.Located on the Congo River, the port city of Matadi, where ICTSI operates the Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT) under a joint venture with Congolese property management company SIMOBILE, is the Democratic Republic of Congo's primary shipping hub.The planned expansion will bring MGT's throughput capacity up to 400…
Djibouti, CMA CGM in Talks to Develop New Container Terminal
Djibouti is in talks with French shipping company CMA CGM to develop a new container terminal at an initial cost of $660 million as part of the tiny African country's bid to expand into a sea and air transport hub for the continent. Aboubakar Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), told Reuters on Tuesday that the authority hopes to award the concession in July. It was also prepared to buy out DP World's stake in an existing container terminal to end a row with the Dubai port operator and avoid arbitration, he said.
Ghana, Equatorial Guinea to Sign LNG Deal
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo plans to sign an agreement to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Equatorial Guinea during his three-day visit to the Gulf of Guinea petroleum producer due to begin on Monday, his office said. Though an oil and gas producer in its own right since its flagship Jubilee field came on stream in 2010, Ghana has in the past struggled to ensure reliable power production for a growing domestic market. Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, is exploring the possibility of selling a portion of its LNG cargos to its African neighbours. The statement from Akufo-Addo's communications director said the president was expected to sign a framework document with his counterpart President Teodoro Obiang Nguema to import LNG from Equatorial Guinea for five years.
MSC Inks 35-year Deal to Run Ivory Coast Terminal
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has signed a 35-year concession agreement with Ivory Coast's second port of San Pedro to operate its container terminal as part of a deal to upgrade the facility, the Swiss shipping company said on Tuesday. Ivory Coast is the world's leading producer of cocoa, and over half of its total output is exported via the port of San Pedro, which is located near the main western growing regions. The country's main port is Abidjan, which is one of the region's busiest. Investments for upgrades to the port will total nearly 300 billion CFA francs ($510 million), including around 130 billion CFA francs from MSC, the company said in a statement.
Armed Piracy in West African Waters Rise
Bulk of attacks occurred off Nigeria. Armed attacks on ships in West African waters nearly doubled in 2016, with pirates increasingly focused on kidnapping their crew for ransom off Nigeria's coast, a report said on Tuesday. A recent spate of attacks off Somalia, meanwhile, may also indicate a resurgence of piracy in East Africa as a result of less vigilance, the Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP) project said. OBP, a project of the privately funded One Earth Future Foundation that encourages cooperation across the international maritime community to tackle piracy, recorded 95 attacks in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea in 2016, up from 54 the previous year.
Ivory Coast's Main Port Shut Down
Paramilitary gendarmes firing in the air sealed off access to Ivory Coast's main port on Wednesday, forcing companies including cocoa exporters to close down, as weeks of unrest in the security forces showed no signs of easing. President Alassane Ouattara, who is also facing a wave of public sector strikes, ordered his defence minister and military chiefs to hold urgent talks with members of the security forces about their grievances in a bid to quell the instability. Ivory Coast has emerged from a 2002-2011 political crisis and civil war as one of the world's fastest-growing economies but the violence, which began with an army mutiny nearly two weeks ago, has hit its image as a post-conflict success story.
Guinean Sailors Arrested after Clash with Sierra Leone Navy
Sierra Leone was holding 11 Guineans including military personnel in custody on Wednesday following a confrontation at sea involving the two West African neighbours' navies, Sierra Leonean officials said. The incident occurred early on Monday morning off the coast of northern Sierra Leone near the countries' border, the officials said. Vessels from the two countries exchanged gunfire after Guinean naval forces illegally boarded a Chinese fishing vessel in Sierra Leonean waters, said Al Shek Kamara, Head of Operations for the Sierra Leone Police. He said the Guineans had been holding the vessel's crew at gunpoint demanding money. Guinea rejected that version of events. "There was a Chinese boat that was being pursued by the Guinean navy and entered into Sierra Leone's territory.
Ivory Coast Starts Construction of Abidjan Port Upgrades
Ivory Coast began construction on Tuesday of a four-year, 560 billion CFA franc ($962 million) project to build a second container terminal and widen the canal leading to its main port in the commercial capital Abidjan. Among the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa, the port serves Ivory Coast, French-speaking West Africa's largest economy and the world's top cocoa producer, and is also a gateway for landlocked nations to the north. China Harbour Engineering Co Ltd was awarded the construction contracts for both projects with the bulk of the cost covered by a loan from China's Eximbank. Construction of the new container terminal, which will be managed by consortium led by France's Bollore, will last 48 months and cost 409 billion CFA francs.
Somaliland to Pick Berbera Port Partner by End of Year
Somaliland expects to choose a partner to develop and manage its Berbera port by the end of the year, with construction expected to start early next year, the breakaway territory's foreign minister said on Wednesday. Mohamed Behi Yonis said the state, which broke away from Somalia in 1991 but is not internationally recognised, was in talks with France's Bollore, the Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Company and Dubai's DP World. "Those are the three major port management companies that are interested in developing the port. We have been discussing with all of them," he told Reuters on the sidelines of an African Development Bank meeting in Ivory Coast. "We have not made up our minds. We're looking at all options," he added.
Port of San Pedro Seeks to Fund Upgrades with European Roadshow
Ivory Coast's second largest port of San Pedro will hold a roadshow in France and Britain next month as it seeks to raise 180 billion CFA francs ($300 million) to fund upgrades, the port's director said. San Pedro is already the world's leading port for cocoa exports, shipping more than half of total output from Ivory Coast, the top producer of the chocolate ingredient. It also exports coffee, palm oil, timber and cotton. However, it is hoping to broaden its activities with upgrades including an expansion of its container terminal and the construction of a new mineral ore terminal.
Ivory Coast Urban Water Transport Opened to Outside Investors
Ivory Coast abolished a state monopoly on passenger traffic on the lagoon surrounding the commercial capital Abidjan, the government announced on Wednesday, clearing the way for outside investors. Abidjan, a city of around 6 million inhabitants, straddles the Ebrie Lagoon. The SOTRA urban transportation company, majority-owned by the state with a minority interest held by Italian bus manufacturer Iveco, runs several water-taxi lines. Government spokesman Bruno Kone said the waterways had been under-utilized. "This will allow other entities to make major investments," Bruno said after a cabinet meeting. He also announced the approval of an agreement between the transportation ministry and Rainbow Ferry Lines…
Niger Cabinet Approves New Areva Uranium Deal
Niger's cabinet of ministers on Friday approved a renewal of French nuclear group Areva's uranium production deal in the West African nation, the government said on Friday, completing two years of often fraught negotiations. The two parties announced the signature of a new 10-year agreement for Areva's Somair and Cominak mines in May, but Friday's green light from President Mahamadou Issoufou and his ministers clears the way for its implementation. The previous production agreement expired in Dec. 31, requiring temporary extensions. Under the deal, Areva agreed to fewer tax breaks and higher royalty rates, the government said in a statement.
Ivory Coast Seeks Deepwater Oil Investors
Ivory Coast will seek investors in its available offshore oil acreage, including seven new ultra-deep water blocks in the Gulf of Guinea, at a promotional event in Texas next week, a senior oil ministry official said on Tuesday. The West African nation will target companies including Exxon Mobil, Total, Eni, Anadarko Petroleum, Tullow Oil and ConocoPhillips , the ministry's oil director Ibrahima Diaby said. Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan and Oil and Energy Minister Adama Toungara will lead the government delegation at its promotional event in Houston on Oct. 14 and 15.
Ivory Coast to File Legal Complaint over Ghana Border Row
Ivory Coast said on Friday it would file a complaint with an international jurisdiction after Ghana took legal action to resolve a dispute over the two nations' maritime border in an area rich in hydrocarbons. British firm Tullow Oil has licences in Ghanaian waters near to the boundary disputed by the West African neighbours. Bruno Kone, a spokesman for Ivory Coast's government, would not give details on where the complaint would be filed. "We will take this before the competent jurisdiction, but we are not going to say more for the moment," he told Reuters.
Ivory Coast Bond Orders More than Six times Issue Size
Ivory Coast received orders for a $750 million dollar bond of more than six times the issue size, one of the lead managers said on Wednesday. Ivory Coast launched the 10-year bond late on Wednesday at a yield of 5.625 percent, 3-1/2 years after civil war led it to default on restructured dollar debt. Nicholas Samara, at Citi, told Reuters in a telephone interview that orders totalled $4.75 billion. BNP Paribas and Deutsche were the other lead managers. Investors scrambling for yield have lapped up bonds from sub-Saharan African sovereigns in recent years, leading analysts to warn about the dangers of these borrowers accumulating too much debt.
Ivory Coast Increases Budget on Higher Cocoa, Gas, Port Revenues
Ivory Coast has increased its 2014 budget by nearly 4 percent on expectations of higher earnings from cocoa, natural gas and the country's ports, a government spokesman announced on Wednesday. Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower and French-speaking West Africa's largest economy, has undergone a rapid economic turnaround since the end of a decade of political turmoil in 2011. Its economy grew around 9 percent last year. "The cabinet adopted a finance bill revision that brings the 2014 state budget to 4,407 billion CFA francs ($9.16 billion), up from 4,248 billion CFA francs initially," government spokesman Bruno Kone said following a cabinet meeting.
Ivory Coast Aims to Boost Cotton Output
Ivory Coast is aiming to boost its seed cotton output to 600,000 tonnes in the next two years, the head of the country's industry regulator said on Thursday, marking the latest advance for a sector recovering from a decade of war and political crisis. The country - the world biggest cocoa producer - was also one of West Africa's major cotton exporters, with an annual output of about 400,000 tonnes, before a 2002-2003 civil war split the country in two and halved production. Output has been growing over the past five years thanks to government and donor efforts. "We were able to reach 400,000 tonnes during the season that just finished," Malamine Sanogo, the managing director of the Cotton and Cashew Council, told Reuters.
Congo Unveils Tender For Exploitation Of Methane Gas
Democratic Republic of Congo's oil ministry has called for bids to exploit reserves of methane gas at the bottom of Lake Kivu on its eastern border with Rwanda, the prime minister's office said on Friday. The office announced the tender on its twitter account but did not give details. An oil ministry official said the tender process had not yet begun but added that Congo needed the gas to help meet its energy deficit. "It is very important that we exploit this gas, because otherwise it has the potential to explode and cause significant damage to the population…
San Pedro Port Seeks $1.65b for Expansion
Ivory Coast's port of San Pedro is seeking 777 billion CFA francs ($1.65 billion) from private partners to fund upgrades that aim to make it one of West Africa's top shipping hubs, including for iron ore and nickel, the transport minister said. San Pedro is already the world's leading port for cocoa exports, shipping more than half of total output from Ivory Coast, the top producer of the chocolate ingredient. It also exports coffee, palm oil, timber and cotton. But the government of President Alassane Ouattara wants to make the port the centrepiece of an ambitious plan that would see more than 8 trillion CFA francs invested in the development of the country's predominantly agricultural western regions.
Good Cocoa Harvest Expected on Ivory Coast
Cocoa farmers said on Monday weeks of abundant rain in most of Ivory Coast's principal growing regions will likely ensure good bean quality and robust harvesting into July as long as there is no flooding or outbreaks of disease. The marketing season for the April-to-September mid-crop officially opened on April 1 and harvesting is picking up rapidly. Analysts now predict a better than expected crop in West Africa after forecasts of a supply deficit boosted prices 20 percent last year, and cocoa futures were lower on Monday on the region's improved mid-crop prospects. July cocoa on ICE fell $11 or 0.4 percent to $2,853 a tonne after earlier equalling a three-month low of $2,849 set on Thursday. July cocoa on Liffe fell 12 pounds or 0.7 percent to 1,779 pounds a tonne.
Niger Could Sign Deal With Areva soon
The government of Niger, the world's fourth largest uranium producer, is on the verge of renewing an agreement with French state-controlled nuclear group Areva, the West African nation's mines minister said on Sunday. Niger, one of the world's poorest nations, is pushing to boost revenues from its uranium, but Areva, which dominates the sector in the country, has claimed that increasing royalties would make its operations there unprofitable. "We are very, very close to a deal. All that remains is to finalise it. We will sign in the weeks, or even the days to come," Mines Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana said in an interview with private television stations Labari and Dounia.
Ivory Coast Lifts Ecom Cocoa, Coffee Export Ban
Top cocoa grower Ivory Coast has reinstated the export licence of Swiss agricultural trader Ecom Agroindustrial Corp Ltd's local unit, rescinding a ban imposed in a dispute over farmer bonuses, a document from the marketing board showed. The Coffee and Cocoa Council, CCC, imposed the suspension, which also barred Ecom subsidiary ZAMACOM from participating in cocoa auctions, on Feb. Several farmer cooperatives had complained to the CCC that ZAMACOM owed them premium payments for certified cocoa produced during the 2012/13 season. Ecom denied it had failed to make the payments.