Senegal’s port of Dakar (Port Autonome de Dakar), on the west coast of Africa, has awarded a 25-year contract for the operation of its vehicle ro-ro terminal on Pier 2 to Bolloré Africa Logistics (BAL), a division of the Bolloré Group, one of the world’s biggest transport and logistics providers. The signing concludes a tender process that began in 2010 involving 15 companies.

Under the terms of the contract BAL will invest €97m ($131m) over that period to extend the wharf to 165 metres, with a draught of 10.5 metres. It will also include the development of a 30,000-square-metre storage area, handling equipment and a new IT system.

“This bold commitment on the part of Bolloré Africa Logistics at the Dakar Port reflects our belief in making Dakar's ro-ro terminal one of the most efficient in all of Western Africa,” said Dominique Lafont, president of Bolloré Logistics.

The project will involve partnerships with Senegalese businesses according to the group.

The port of Dakar’s location on the Cap-Vert peninsula puts it in a good position to handle the transhipment of vehicles coming from the Americas to countries along the west coast of the continent.

Last year the port handled a total of just over 49,500 vehicle units (including trucks), with the great majority delivered by Italian ocean operator Grimaldi, which accounted for almost 41,000 units. The majority of these are used vehicles, according to Grimaldi, and the new car business remains very limited.