IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced the completion of a €225 million debt package for Togo’s Lome Container Terminal, SA (LCT). IFC is the sole lead arranger on the LCT financing that was mobilized from a consortium of financiers that include the African Development Bank, Germany’s DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, FMO of The Netherlands, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and France’s PROPARCO. The major infrastructure project is Togo’s largest-ever private investment project and will play a critical role in reducing costs and trade impediments and encouraging regional integration.
LCT will use the funding to develop a new transshipment container terminal within the Port of Lomé. Lome has one of the few natural deep water ports in West and Central Africa and is well-located to serve as a transshipment hub for West Africa. The completed terminal will have an annual handling capacity of the equivalent of 2.2 million twenty foot container units. It will enable shipping lines to deploy the largest container vessels in West and Central Africa. It will also have the capacity to provide economies of scale that significantly lower regional transportation costs.
LCT, a Togolese company formed to execute the project, is held by a 50-50 joint venture between Global Terminal Limited (GTL) and China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited (CMHI). The Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s second largest container shipping line, has committed to be the anchor customer for the terminal.
Vikram Sharma, Chief Executive Officer of GTL, said “The financing of the Lome Container Terminal is an important milestone in the development of this project. The confidence of the international consortium of financiers sends an important signal about the long-term value of the project and to other investors looking to do more in Africa.”
CMHI managing director Hu Jianhua said, “We are very pleased to continue the development of this key project alongside such an international financing consortium. We anticipate Lome Container Terminal to quickly become a key transshipment hub in West Africa as well as an important import and export channel for Togo and its neighbors.”
Bernie Sheahan, IFC Acting Vice-President for Latin America and Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Western Europe said, “Today infrastructure poses one of the most significant threats to Africa’s continued development, and the Lome Container Terminal is evidence that private investment provides a vital contribution to infrastructure development on the continent.”
The total cost for the project is estimated at €324 million. The project is the largest foreign direct investment by the private sector in Togo.
Photo : The Chairman of China Merchants Group Dr. Fu Yuning met with Mr. Noupokou Dammipi, Minister of Transport of the Republic of Togo on november 21, 2012