Port of Antwerp takes charge to modernise Cotonou
The consultancy and investment subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority has been appointed by Ministers from Benin in West Africa to temporarily take control and modernise the port of Cotonou.
Port of Antwerp International (PAI) is no stranger to modernisation work in the country having already carried out various consultancy tasks at the port during 2017.
“We are delighted that the Benin government has opted for the expertise and knowhow of Antwerp,” said port alderman Marc Van Peel, who is also chairman of PAI.
“With our subsidiaries APEC and PAI we have been working for a long time on the passing on and sharing of knowledge and experience in order to strengthen the worldwide network of our port.”
PAI’s main task will be to modernise the port authority in organisational terms, renovate the obsolescent facilities and prepare for and guide the expansion of the port.
Cotonou handles an annual freight volume of around 12 million tonnes, but in the longer term, it wants to grow further. To do this though both its infrastructure and the organisation need to be updated.
The importance of West Africa for the Port of Antwerp can’t be underestimated. Antwerp has the highest proportion of direct services to West Africa of all ports in Northwest Europe, which translates into a market share of almost 50%.
It is also one of the main gateway ports for the sub-region, in particular the countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
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