International Container Terminal Services Inc. said it will spend an initial 35 million euros or roughly P2.02 billion for a dredging project in Matadi Gateway Terminal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The port operator owned by businessman Enrique Razon Jr. signed a memorandum of understanding with Dredging International to cooperate in the further deepening of the Congo River.
With Democratic Republic of Congo support, Matadi Gateway Terminal―a joint venture company of ICTSI, the Ledya Group and SCTP SA―intends to deepen the Congo River, in phases, to an eventual depth of 40 feet and beyond.
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.
By doing so, both ports 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, the single largest in Central Africa.
The project, requiring an initial investment of 35 million euros, will deliver extensive operational efficiencies and cost savings to the western DRC supply chain and the market as a whole with these progressively realized from 2018 onwards.
“We look forward to working with Dredging International and the DRC Government to realize this important project and the diverse benefits it will deliver to the transportation sector and the economy as a whole,” said Hans-Ole Madsen, senior vice president of ICTSI for Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
“It builds on the co-operative 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 said.
ICTSI, which operates 27 terminals in 17 countries earlier posted a net income of $57.6 million in January to March, down 28 percent from $45.1 million in the same period last year.