The General Manager of PAK presents the criteria used to select the operator: “traffic development, credibility and relevance of the funding plan, operating policy and objectives and local shareholding in the equity of the project company”.
Mister General Manager, the Port Authority of Kribi has just revealed the identity of the new concession holder in charge of developing, operating and maintaining the Multi-purpose Terminal, that is the Filipino company International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ITCSI). How was the company selected?
This is actually the result of a rigorous selection closing a transparent and competitive process. It is worth reminding that specific texts regulate the concession procedures of port terminals. In this regard, the Port Authority of Kribi, upon instructions from the highest authority, launched the concession procedure for the development, operation and maintenance of the activities of the Multi-purpose Terminal.
This procedure, in accordance with the above-mentioned regulatory framework, provides for 4 key steps. First, the short-listing of companies, done through an international public call for tenders at the end of which 5 companies were short-listed. Then comes the technical qualification which in this case took place through a restricted call for tenders. The third step is the financial qualification which is based on the technical qualification. It is after completion of these three steps that ICTSI was declared provisional successful bidder.
The term provisional is used because there is a last step, negotiations and contract award. ICTSI will subject to these in the coming month (editor’s note: this 24 July).
What are the criteria and objectives in favour of the Filipino operator in terms of revenue, import and export?
First of all, I would like to specify that upstream the selection of the concession holder, participation criteria focused on key aspects such as traffic, development as we need a partner who has an effective capacity to diversify, credibility and relevance of the funding plan to give us assurance of financial strength, operating policy and objectives and local shareholding in the equity of the project company. It is worth mentioning that ICTSI carried out a market study and can consequently ensure a significant minimum traffic. These objectives have been considered consistent with the ambitions of the Port of Kribi in terms of volume and the type of goods handled.
ICTSI has indeed committed to objectives that factor in all the types of traffic envisaged and projected by PAK on the Multi-purpose Terminal. In its technical bid, the company has equally developed a programme of major investments which should boost the terminal’s competitiveness. It is important to note that at this stage of building the Kribi Port platform, the most important aspect is to select a partner with a vision perfectly in line with the Port’s development ambitions. As a matter of fact, investment commitments are as important as revenue.
As concerns revenue, the call for tenders provided an estimate of the minimum entry fee, which ICTSI simply tripled. Its bid was almost the double of the one NECOTRANS made in the past on this same terminal. All this proves the attractiveness of the Port of Kribi to international investors. Finally, as concerns traffic, ICTSI has committed to develop so as to operate the terminal to its fullest capacity that is 1,2 million tonnes during Phase 1 and 4 to 5 million tonnes during Phase 2.
PAK’s will in carrying out the concession procedure is to ensure that locals are involved in the future operation of this terminal. In this regard, several measures have been taken among which a strong incentive to recruit Cameroonian executives, the use of sub-contracting in favour of Cameroonian companies and 25% share capital of the future project company open to Cameroonians. As concerned especially the share capital open to Cameroonians, it is too early to give any identity.
What will happen to KPMO, the Cameroonian group currently operating the Multi-purpose Terminal?
From the above, KPMO, the current sub-contractor of PAK in charge of carrying out handling operations on the Multi-purpose Terminal, can benefit from incentives listed above: the acquisition of shares in the equity of the future project company, subject to compliance with the relevant commitments and the recruitment of its managers and employees into the workforce of the future project company, in accordance with the latter's standards.
I would like to specify that KPMO is currently managing terminal as sub-contractor and not as a concession holder. After the failure of the Group NECOTRANS/KPMO, the successful bidder of the initial call for tenders (NECOTRANS went bankrupt, editor’s note), the PAK was assigned the mission to temporarily manage the terminal indirectly. This task was granted to KPMO through a sub-contract agreement. That is to say, if negotiations with ICTSI end well, the company will immediately start operating the Multi-purpose Terminal for 25 years.