Cotonou, Benin, September 10,
2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the
signing of a 25-year concession agreement for the South Wharf Container
Terminal between the government of Benin and the Groupement Bolloré that
promises to increase trade between landlocked countries in West Africa
and the rest of the world.
Groupement Bolloré, led by Bolloré Group
of France, won the bid to invest in and manage the container handling concession
for 25 years. IFC advised the government of Benin on the bidding process
for the South Wharf Container Terminal concession at the port of Cotonou.
The terminal is intended to improve
port performance and security, expand capacity, and cut costs. It is expected
to significantly reduce delays at the port and help increase opportunities
to develop external markets for the agriculture and fishing industries.
In addition to Benin, the port will serve countries such as Burkina Faso,
Mali and Niger. The concession further paves the way for Cotonou to become
the second port of reference after Lagos so that it may benefit from growth
Groupement Bolloré, composed of Bolloré
Group and Société de Manutention du Terminal ŕ Conteneurs de Cotonou Groupement
Bolloré, competed with a group of world-class operators that were prequalified
to bid through a highly competitive and transparent selection process.
The final selection criterion was based on the highest total amount of
cumulative fees to be paid annually to the government for the first eight
years of operations.
"Today's signing completes a bidding
process that sets a high standard in efficiency and fairness for awarding
this public-private partnership concession. We look forward to continued
high standards in the port's development that will encourage increased
trade and government revenues for Benin," said Pascal Koupaki, Benin's
minister of Prospective, Development, Evaluation of public policies and
Coordination of the Governmental Action.
Groupement Bolloré’s proposal included
a commitment to pay fees of $200 million over the first eight years of
operations, and to invest $256 million in operating equipment and civil
works over the life of the concession.
“Benin’s development will require
increased trade and investment,” said Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for
West and Central Africa. “Today’s signing takes us a further step
toward improved port and other infrastructure facilities will create new
opportunities for this nation’s people and businesses.”
This port sector reform is also made
possible with a $169 million grant from the United States’ Millennium
Challenge Corporation. The MCC funding allows for the construction of the
quay wall behind which the container terminal will be constructed.
The transaction was completed in eight
months, signaling the commitment of Benin, IFC, and the Millennium Challenge
Corporation. IFC advised the government with the support of DevCo, a multidonor
affiliate program that incorporates the Private Infrastructure Development
Group, supported by the U.K.’s Department for International Development;
the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Swedish International Development
Agency; and the Austrian Development Agency.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.