South Korea will invest $220 million to refurbish a port in the Atlantic coastal town of Limbe, to expand the shipment of goods in and out of Cameroon, as well as landlocked Chad and the Central African Republic.
The rebuilding of the port is a public-private joint venture between South Korea and Cameroon, with the financing taking the form of a Build, Operate and Transfer contract, giving South Korea the authority to manage the port for 30 years before handing it over to Cameroon, the west African country’s minister of transport, Robert Nkili, said.
Work on the port will start June 2014 and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Mr. Nkili said he signed the contract for the project Friday, along with Sang Ki-Yi, president of the Limbe Port Industrial Development Corp., and the port’s general manager Jeawon Lee.
The signing was witnessed by South Korea’s ambassador to Cameroon, Cho June Hyuck.
Officials at the South Korean Embassy in Yaounde were unavailable for comment.
“The port will serve not only Cameroon to transport minerals, oil and food to and from Cameroon and other brotherly nations, it will ease the anchoring of petroleum ships for repairs coming from other countries,” said Mr. Nkili.
The Limbe seaport will supplement Cameroon’s existing seaport in Douala, which currently handles 90% of maritime transport for Cameroon, Chad and CAR. The Douala port has become expensive to run, as it frequently fills with sand and requires dredging to enable ships to anchor.
Cameroon has secured over 500 billion CFA franc ($1.03 billion) from China’s Eximbank to build another deep seaport in Kribi, a coastal town 300 kilometers from Yaounde.
The Kribi port will become operational by June 2014 and will facilitate exports of crude oil from Chad and Niger, as well as Cameroonian iron ore to be produced by Australia’s Sundance Resources Ltd.
Press Release, November 5, 2013