IFC Provides €20M Loan to Upgrade Cotonou Container Terminal

The IFC is finalizing a loan to Benin Terminal — a subsidiary of French group Africa Global Logistics (AGL) — to upgrade the Container Terminal at the seaport of Cotonou. According to the process timeline, the fund is expected to be transferred by 4 June 2024.

The loan from IFC will go towards procurement of STS cranes, gantry cranes, tugboats and other equipment. The relocation of the power station would also be necessary.

In July 2022, Benin Terminal renewed its concession agreement with the Benin government for another 27 years. Benin Terminal plans to inject a total of EUR 166 million for the expansion of the Container Terminal.

The Container Terminal is part of the larger Cotonou Port upgrade plan. In fact, the port master plan will necessitate a total investment of nearly USD 400 million. It will entail dredging to that the dock can accommodate larger ships and a wave breaker to allow continued operation in spite of bad weather. The construction of a wharf for bulker ships and a parking dock for very large carriers are also part of the plan. A military dock is also on the cards which will be able to service warships.

Visualization of Cotonou Port Development Master Plan
Visualization of Cotonou Port Development Master Plan

Observers note that the Houthis’ attack leading to the #RedSeaCrisis caused a deviation of traffic along the Cape Route. With the expected increase in traffic, the upgrade of the Cotonou seaport was thus placed on the fast track.

In a related news, the border between Benin and Niger have been reponed in February 2024. Before the border closure, Niger contributed to nearly a third of the port traffic at Cotonou.