International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and dredging contractor Dredging International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-operate in the further deepening of the Congo River.
The project to deepen the river will cost an initiall €35m (US$39m) and will take it in phases to an eventual depth of 40ft and beyond.
Deepening the river will eliminate current draught restrictions in the Divagante area near Boma, and enable direct calls by mainline vessels at the ports of Matadi and Boma.
The intention is for both ports to become the preferred gateways to the capital city of Kinshasa and its surrounding hinterland, which features a market of 30m people.
Hans-Ole Madsen, senior vice president, ICTSI, Europe, Middle East and Africa region said that the project would deliver “diverse benefits” to the transportation sector and the economy as a whole.
“It builds on the co-operative approach taken to the development of the Matadi Gateway Terminal and will represent a key component in the modernization of DRC marine infrastructure with benefits felt along the whole supply chain,” he added.
It is hoped that this project will deliver cost savings to the western DRC supply chain and the market as a whole.