Meridiam and its partner Arise PCC (Olam and Africa Finance Corporation joint venture), inaugurated today the new container terminal of Nouakchott, Mauritania. The project, co-owned and codeveloped by Meridiam and Arise PCC, was awarded in September 2018 under a 30-year concession scheme.
This ambitious infrastructure project represents a total investment of €278 million and is the first developed under a PPP-scheme in the country. Its scope covers the development, financing, construction, maintenance and operation of a new and dedicated container terminal at the port of Nouakchott, designed to have an initial handling capacity of 250,000 TEUs, and the extension and deepening of the port area from previously 12 m to 14,70 m to allow the access of larger container vessels. The project also foresees a significant potential for extending the capacity of the terminal in the future, which could be able to handle a potential maximum capacity of 600,000 TEUs i.e., almost 4 times the actual container capacity.
The Nouakchott container terminal aims at creating a regional logistic hub, supporting the government of Mauritania’s effort to improve the country’s essential infrastructures required to sustain its economic growth. It is equipped with latest generation technology and operates in a fully digitalized way. Dedicated berths for containerships and 100% all weather berth availability with dynamic mooring system will reduce overall call duration by 70%, creating substantial savings for shipping lines and highest service standards for customers.
This new terminal will contribute significantly to the economic development of Mauritania as the port accounts for almost all the imports for the domestic market, mainly agri-food, energy and construction products. But also by participating in the development of export sectors, particularly thanks to the fishing, Mauritanian coastline being one of the richest areas of fish in the world, and copper ore industries. It will also create new opportunities for regional trade, particularly with Mali for import and export (e.g., cotton) traffic as the country explores new sources of supply alongside the historic one with Senegal.
1,250 direct jobs over the duration of the concession contract are intended to be created, including 750 direct jobs during the construction phase and 500 direct jobs during the operation phase. During the operation phase, exclusively national workers will be recruited for whom quality training will be provided. In addition to the direct jobs, the project should create 1000 indirect jobs (service providers, consultants, etc.).
The port will therefore directly contribute to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and #9 (Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation). It will also contribute to
 Infra PPP World (https://www.infrapppworld.com/news/fc-on-usd310mn-port-ppp-in-mauritania)
 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a measure of volume in units of twenty-foot long containers. One 20-foot container equals one TEU.