International Container Terminal Services Inc. plans to invest $100 million on the second phase of Congo’s container terminal expansion project.
The port terminal said work on Matadi’s Gateway Terminal’s second phase expansion was expected to begin in 2020.
“The expansion of MGT is aligned with actual and projected container growth rates for the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], and corresponds with cargo owner and shipping line requirements for the medium term,” said Hans Ole Madsen, ICTSI senior vice president and regional head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“The market is seeing positive growth albeit off a relatively low base in terms of total demand. Studies suggest that DRC will achieve emerging market country status within the next 10 years and as such, we are very confident that this nearly $100-million expansion plan anticipates the market’s requirements over this period and will deliver unrivaled efficiencies,” he added.
Among the upgrades are the expansion of the quay from 375 meters to over 500 meters, and the doubling of the terminal’s yard area to 10.5 hectares. When completed, MGT will be capable of simultaneously servicing two WAFMAX class vessels.
The expansion gives the terminal substantial flexibility to optimize container capacity, stacking, and clearance/drop-off arrangements.
On the equipment side, a third Kone mobile harbor crane–now on order–will soon be installed to provide the ability to turn a 2,500-TEU capacity vessel in under 12 hours.
In the pipeline are Congo’s first pair of ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes, which are expected to optimize vessel turnaround times; new landside yard handling equipment; and the latest IT systems for optimized terminal operations.
Located 92 miles upstream of the Congo River, Matadi has the natural advantage of being the closest port to the capital Kinshasa, offering the lowest inland transport cost that greatly benefit cargo owners.
ICTSI is working with relevant authorities to enhance the rail service between Matadi and Kinshasa, the only direct rail link in the country between a seaport gateway and the capital city.