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APM Terminals to operate new automated port in Morocco’s Tangier

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Apm terminals

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – The world’s third largest port operator APM Terminals said it will invest 758 million euros ($858.3 million) in a new transhipment terminal in Tangier, Morocco, that will be the first automated terminal in Africa.

The new container terminal will have an annual capacity of five million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU), and APM Terminals has the right to operate the port for 30 years.

APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark’s shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk, is currently operating a port facility in Tangier that handled 1.7 million TEUs in 2015.

A.P. Moller-Maersk also controls the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk Line and it has committed to use the new facilities.

“At a time when the container shipping industry is in crisis due to low global growth and too many vessels for too few goods to move it is important we are able to invest in bigger and more effective port facilities,” Chief Executive Kim Fejfer from APM Terminals said.

Tangier is the second-busiest container port on the African continent after Port Said, Egypt and the location of Tangier provides a natural transhipment location for containers carrying anything from flat-screen televisions to sportswear from Asia to Europe and Africa.

APM Terminals also see high growth in Africa will demand more and better infrastructure on the continent.

“Significant investment in port and transportation infrastructure will be required to meet the anticipated needs of the expanding African population and corresponding economic growth,” it said.

APM Terminals is the largest port operator in Africa with 12 facilities operational in 10 countries.


(Reporting by Ole Mikkelsen, editing by David Evans)

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Kenya replaces Mombasa port management amid smuggling probe

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya Ports Authority said on Monday it had replaced senior managers at Mombasa port in response to pressure to tackle drug and ivory smuggling at East Africa’s main trade gateway.

Masden Madoka, the port’s chairman, said managing director Gichiri Ndua and five other senior managers had been sent into early retirement and several others were likely to follow.

There are no suggestions any of the six were directly involved in smuggling, though Madoka said investigations into corruption were ongoing.

“There have been complaints levelled against the KPA (Kenyan Ports Authority) and it was time such drastic action was taken,” he told journalists.

Ndua could not be reached for comment, despite several attempts to contact him by telephone.

The Indian Ocean port is a vital artery for East African trade, handling fuel and other imports for landlocked neighbours including Uganda and South Sudan. The region’s main exports, tea and coffee, are also shipped out of Mombasa.

Western diplomats say it is also the main exit point for ivory poached in East Africa and smuggled to Asia, and has become a key entry point of Afghan heroin bound for Europe via East Africa.

Officials of the port and other government agencies there have faced frequent and widespread accusations of colluding with rogue importers and exporters, depriving Kenya of tax revenues.

While there have been no convictions, the port has become a focal point for a campaign by President Uhuru Kenyatta to boost economic growth by improving efficiency and fighting criminal cartels.

Madoka said Catherine Muturi, who was the port’s general manager for finance and administration, has been appointed acting managing director.

In another effort to curb smuggling, Madoka also said all transit cargo coming through Mombasa would be cleared within the port. At present, some containers bound for outside Kenya are cleared at privately run container freight stations located outside the port.

The government shut down two such stations last month.


(By Joseph Akwiri. Writing by Drazen Jorgic; editing by John Stonestreet)

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Ivory Coast begins construction of Abidjan port upgrades

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Latest Updates from Reuters

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – 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 euros ($461 billion).

It is expected to allow Abidjan to increase container traffic from 1.2 million TEU to 3 million TEU by 2020.

The upgrades to the canal linking the port to the Atlantic Ocean will be completed in 36 months at a cost of 151 billion CFA francs.

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