The African Development Bank has agreed to finance dredging work at the Port of Bissau in the West African state of Guinea-Bissau
The tiny Portuguese-speaking country has been largely bypassed in the race to develop more port capacity in the region and its only significant port has long needed dredging. It has variously been reported in the country that the port was last dredged in 1960 or the early 1970s.
Serifo Djaquite, the Minister of Transport and Communications, said that dredging work will begin either at the end of this year or start of 2019. However, the tender for the dredging contract is only due to be issued in September or October, so it seems likely that work will only start next year. The AfDB has agreed to provide a CFA15B loan (US$26.5M) to the Bissau Ports Administration Directorate for the dredging work and other port improvements.
The tender process for the concession to operate the port appears to have run aground. Yilport Holdings’ subsidiary, Tertir, won a tender to operate the port, but the government withdrew from the concession and has now been ordered by courts in the country to pay US$6.9 million in compensation to the Turkish company.
A second tender process was due to conclude last year, with the government set to choose between International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) and French logistics firm Necotrans. However, further progress on the tender was halted when Necotrans ran into difficulty.