Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the consultancy and investment subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority, has been appointed by the Council of Ministers of the West African country of Benin to modernize the Port of Cotonou.
“This port is the economic heart of Benin, handling an annual freight volume of around 12 million tonnes. In the longer term, the port authority wants the port to grow further, but both the infrastructure and the organization are outdated. The government therefore decided to temporarily outsource the management of the port,” Port of Antwerp said in their release.
The agreement between PAI and the authorities in Cotonou is expected to be signed in early January 2018.
“Our main task will be to modernize the port authority in organisational terms, renovate the obsolescent facilities and prepare for and guide the expansion of the port,” said Kristof Waterschoot, managing director of PAI.
The port has a strategic importance in the region as it is also one of the main gateway ports for the sub-region, in particular, the countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. With the government’s recent move, the reformed port would be able to compete with the surrounding ports, Port of Antwerp said.