By Jite Eriabie
The chief executive of the Ivory Coast’s Autonomous Port of Abidjan – le Port Autonome d’Abidjan (PAA) – has said that expansion work at the port, once completed, will allow it to accommodate vessels holding 14,000 teu.
Speaking to news service Euronews, Hien Yacouba Sié said that the port can currently only handle ships with a draft of up to 11.5 metres – or, in other words, no more than 3,500 teu.
When the work is finished, it is hoped that the port will confirm its position as both the economic lung of the Ivory Coast as and as a principal hub in West Africa.
Currently underway is a project to widen and deepen the Vridi channel leading to the main port.
Work to construct a second container terminal to boost the port’s cargo capacity is also taking place.
The aim is to be able to host bigger, new-generation vessels, regardless of their size.
The new box terminal is set to spread over land gained on the lagoon in a project managed by China Harbor Engineering Company.
Most of the Ivory Coast’s trade passes through the Autonomous Port of Abidjan, which creates more than 80% of its customs revenue.
The expansion work began two years ago with the aim of turning the port into a major maritime transport hub for West Africa, and the project is scheduled to finish in August 2019.
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