APM Terminals has announced that it has signed contracts to build the second container terminal of Abidjan, named Côte d’Ivoire Terminal (CIT), which is scheduled to begin operations at the end of next year.

The contracts were signed with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) earlier this month.

The Bolloré and APM Terminals joint venture is planning to invest €400m for the terminal construction and equipment.

After the completion, the terminal will offer employment opportunities for 400 people.

Once the 20-year concession for the operation is completed, the assets of the terminal will be restored to the Ports Authority Port Autonome d’Abidjan.

Côte d’Ivoire Terminal will be located near the current Abidjan Terminal and will increase the port’s competitiveness. It will provide an extra annual throughput capacity of 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in its first developmental phase.

After the completion, the terminal will provide a maximum draft of 18m and will be able to accommodate larger vessels in the future. The Abidjan Terminal can accommodate vessels with a draft of 11.5m.

Additionally, it will also offer access to a rail yard and reefer plugs for 1,100 containers.

This month, the terminal signed a contract for the delivery of six post-Panamax gantry cranes, 13 e-RTGs and 36 Tugmasters.

CIT MD Koen De Backker said: “Shipping lines have started to deploy very large container vessels on the trades to / from West Africa that need deep water facilities and modern terminals able to handle them with much higher productivity.”

“A more efficient and competitive port with the latest generation container handling equipment and deep draft will help reduce the cost of handling cargo, and fuel trade growth and transhipment volumes.”