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Chinese-built deep sea port to boost Cameroon's economic growth

By Huang Yanan (Xinhua)    19:56, February 16, 2015

YAOUNDE, Feb. 16 -- The deep sea port built by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) in Cameroon's port city of Kribi will accelerate the country's economic growth after it is put into operation, a Cameroonian official has said.

The first phase of the Kribi deep sea port, which sits over 300 kilometers southwest of the capital Yaounde, concluded last year and is waiting to be handed over to the Cameroonian government.

Two berths have been built for the first phase, one container berth, the other bulk cargo berth.

Hand Bahiol Magloire, deputy coordinator in charge of technical for the Kribi Port project, told Xinhua that the Kribi Port will play a significant role in the economic development of Cameroon, as it will solve a bottleneck problem for its progress.

"After the port is put into operation, Cameroon's economy will show a momentum of fast growth. CHEC is greatly appreciated for this fantastic work," he said.

The current biggest port in Cameroon is located alongside the river in the economic capital of Douala, the country's southwestern area.

The Douala Port handles 95 percent of Cameroon's import and export. With the water depth being only 7 meters, the port is not suitable for loading big ships, thus requiring small boats pick up goods from big ships which anchor in the deep sea.

That has resulted in low working efficiency and a high cost of transport.

With the completion of Kribi Port, big ships will have their dock as the depth of water there is 16 meters, Magloire said.

He said the road connecting the port and Kribi city is almost finished and the high way linking it with the Douala high way which leads to capital Yaounde, will be built soon.

The Douala high way is being constructed by another Chinese company - China First Highway Engineering Co., Ltd.

"The Kribi Port will become an economic hub to promote economic growth in the southern region as well as the whole country," he said.

Magloire said the infrastructure in Kribi has been improved a lot due to the port project, which also brought many employment opportunities for the locals.

"More than 700 people were employed at the peak time of the project," he said, adding that a Kribi industrial zone will also be built as the deep sea port starts running.

Magloire also spoke highly of the cooperation between CHEC and the Cameroonian government,.

"Though there were disputes at the beginning, later on we found they were right, and we have 100 percent trust on them," he said, calling CHEC an international and professional company.

"The company has done a lot of good things for the local people during the construction," added Bisoga Antoine, Governor of Kribi's Ocean Department.

CHEC started building the Kribi Port on June 11, 2011 and completed the project within 3 years. The Chinese company undertook the design, construction and procurement of the project.

The contract value for the first phase is 568 million U.S. dollars, out of them 85 percent is from the concessional loan by the Chinese government, 15 percent from the Cameroonian government.

Magloire said the second phase of the Kribi Port will be built soon with another two berths, and their final target is to complete 24 berths by 2040, realizing a handling capacity of 100 million tons.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Kong Defang,Bianji)

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