Port Autonome d’Abidjan


B.P.V. 85 Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire Tel. : +22521238000
Fax: +22521238185
Website : http://www.paa-ci.org/
Contact Email: ct-cic@paa-ci.org
Sector: Shipping Industry

Ile Boulay expansion – A natural step for turning Abidjan into “Africa’s Roterdam”

Since its creation in 1950, the Port of Abidjan has not stopped developing at a sustainable rhythm through hard work and the pursuit of a common purpose. Every year, close to 5700 vessels share a freight of 116 million of containers transported around the globe. At the same time, vessels transporting more than 2500 of these containers cannot dock at any of West Africa’s Ports due to technical reasons. Recognizing this reality and to reinforce the development policy of its country, President Gbagbo has made the extension of the Port of Abidjan one of its top priorities. It was such spirit that fostered the development of an international hub for container transshipment at ile Boulay. An ambitious project kick started on the 11 June 2008 with the laying of the first stone by the President. As the facilities of the Vridi terminal reach saturation, expansion becomes necessary. The ile Boulay extension is simultaneously integrated in a wider strategy to equip the coastal strip where other significant investments are also being made in, for example, the refining and petrochemical industries. While living up to the highest environmental standards the ile de Boulay project is set to create Africa’s Rotterdam thanks to a unique determination to look ahead and anticipate.

The first strip of 600 m long, representing between 2 and 3 docking units, will be operational in 2012. This extension amounts to doubling the traffic capacity for containers and adequately suits the evolving needs of the shipping industry in the bay of Abidjan. Three kilometers of wharf and a water depth of up to 15 meters together with state-of-the-art container transshipment interfaces will make the terminal of ile Boulay of the largest maritime destinations in Africa. The PAA will be able to deal with up to 3 million containers per year. Thanks to the ile Boulay extension at the PAA, already the leader of its kind in West Africa, is set to double its technical capacities. Ile Boulay is the latest stage in the constant evolution and reinvention of the PAA since its inception in 1950. The project is also integrated one into the wider development policy of Abidjan and Cote d’Ivoire. It is much more than a simple extension. It will bring to Abidjan a 400 hectare Commercial and Industrial free zone and a large number of associated transport infrastructures as well as an additional second fishing Port. Quality staff together with a continuous investment in state-of-the art port infrastructures has equipped the Abidjan Port Authority with the largest traffic reception capacity in the African Sub-region. The Port of Abidjan is the economic beating heart of Côte d’Ivoire, providing the lifeblood of its commercial exchanges.

The authorities of SETV (Societe d’Exploitation du Terminal a Conteneurs de Vridi) of the Bollore group have now started to adapt their structures to the new demands. The equivalent to fourty nine million Euros have already been invested since 2003 in human resources training, particularly in the area of security. More than 300 workers of the terminal have already benefited from this effort and in the next three years another 50 billion CFA are set to be invested.

Current capacity of the Vridi Container Terminal
• Length : 960 metres
• Surface : 27 hectares
• Draught : 12 metres

Capacity of the Future ile Boulay expansion
• Length : 1500 metres
• Surface : 60 hectares
• Draught : 15 metres

The Confidence of AFAQ Certification

Security has always been the first priority of the PAA. Even during the strongest periods of crisis in 2004, the PAA received its ISPS certification in July 2004. Now, with the resolution of the conflict thanks to the Ouagadougou accords of March 2007, a positive economic outset arises for investments and commercial exchanges with and through the Côte d’Ivoire. On the 2nd of January 2008 the PAA obtained the ISO 9001/2000 certificate awarded by “AFAQ-AFNOR”. Such credential is the most recognizable guarantee for partners and costumers looking for ports complying only with the highest international standards and requirements when it comes to: • Scheduling • Inspection and Regulation • Inner Pilotage and Towage • Mooring • Vessel security and safety • Outer Pilotage and Towage After its ISPS (International Ship and Port Facilities Security) security standards certification on July 2004, the AFAQ-AFNOR guarantee on vessel reception shows just how much the Abidjan Port Authority and its staff value a permanent effort to offer quality services to our numerous customers and partners.

Constant improvement in service and performance

Always seeking to cut down on expendable expenses and maximize cost-effectiveness, the PAA has managed to decrease the waiting times in the Port by: 1 day for the container-carriers; 1,2 days for the roro; 2,9 days for cargo ships; and 1,5 days for oil tankers. In effect, the Port does not charge its costumers on a daily basis anymore but it on an hourly basis, another evidence of flexibility and shorter idle periods.

A broad and comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Beyond the new ile Boulay terminal, the creation of a Commercial and Industrial Free Trade Zone will bring added-value to the Port. At the same time, government will continue to make the necessary investments to complement the Port, namely by building a bridge crossing the lagoon and connecting the Port to the highway of the North through the Yopougon commune – Laurent Gbagbo Bridge. This bridge will link the new extension of ile Boulay to the national and regional route networks. Most importantly, it will allow hinterland operators of the PAA to access more easily the new terminal without having to pass through the centre of Abidjan. In addition, access roads as well as electricity and water infrastructures will continue to be improved.

Conversely, the importance of the operations of the PAA goes much beyond the borders of Côte d’Ivoire. The activities of the PAA have an obvious regional impact and its future evolution is closely knitted to the economic fate of West Africa in general and Côte d’Ivoire’s hinterland neighbors in particular. A whole group of transport infrastructure serves the Port of Abidjan effectively linking it to its neighbors: railway to Burkina Faso; roads to Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana; and the Abidjan-Yamoussoukro motorway, soon to be extended all the way to the north of Côte d’Ivoire. The proximity of the Abidjan International Airport complements this multimodal transport platform.

The challenge of continuous improvement is here today, a test which the authorities of the PAA as well as key private and public actors of Côte d’Ivoire want to pass with distinction. The ile de Boulay endeavor will allow the port of Abidjan to remain tomorrow, as today, an international reference for quality and reliability.

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