LISTED port operator International Container Terminal Inc. and dredging contractor Dredging International have signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen the Congo River to 40 feet and beyond to improve port access, ICTSI said on Monday.
“We look forward to working with Dredging International and the [Congo government] to realize this important project and the diverse benefits it will deliver to the transportation sector and the economy as a whole,” Hans-Ole Madsen, senior vice president, ICTSI Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said in a statement.
“It builds on the cooperative approach taken to the development of the Matadi Gateway Terminal and will represent a key component in the modernization of DRC marine infrastructure, with benefits felt along the whole supply chain,” Madsen added.
The project requires an initial investment of €35 million and is expected to deliver extensive operational efficiencies and cost savings to the western Congo supply chain and the market as a whole from 2018 onwards.
“This will eliminate current draught restrictions in the Divagante area near Boma, and enable direct calls by mainline vessels at the ports of Matadi and Boma,” ICTSI said.
According to ICTSI, both ports, upon the deepening, will resume their historic roles as the preferred natural gateways to the capital city of Kinshasa and its surrounding extensive hinterland, home to a rapidly growing market of 30 million people.