KINSHASA- Dubai ports operator DP World will build and manage a new deepwater port on Democratic Republic of Congo's Atlantic coast, the country's transport minister said on Wednesday.
Congo has long looked to develop a port along its less than 50 km (30 miles) of coastline to handle larger vessels than those that can reach its existing shallow ports up the Congo River.
As a result, many of Congo's imports arrive through Pointe Noire in neighbouring Congo Republic, costing the government potentially lucrative fees.
Transport minister Jose Makila told reporters that DP World would hold a 70 percent stake in the port at Banana while the government would control 30 percent.
Makila said he expected the port to be built within three years at a cost of nearly $1.2 billion.
Congo is heavily dependent on imports of food and manufactured goods while it exports commodities including copper, cobalt, gold and oil.
Elsewhere in Africa, DP World has encountered problems in recent weeks. Djibouti abruptly ended its contract to run a container terminal last month and Somalia's parliament voted last week to ban the company.
(Reporting By Amedee Mwarabu; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Edward McAllister and Robin Pomeroy) ((Aaron.Ross@thomsonreuters.com; +221 77 569 1702;))