, MANILA, Jan 24 – Philippine port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) announced Friday it was setting up a $100 million terminal in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The company, known for investing overseas even in troubled areas, said in a statement that it would establish the terminal on the banks of the Congo river in Matadi, the chief sea port of DR Congo.
The project will be undertaken by ICTSI Congo DR, a joint venture between the Philippine company and DR Congo firm Simobile SPRL, ICTSI officials said.
Once operational in 2015, the terminal will be able to handle 120,000 standard shipping containers a year, the company added.
If it is successful, ICTSI plans to expand the terminal even further.
“We have been following the positive economic developments in DR Congo closely and are proud that we can take part in building the needed infrastructure for the future growth and prosperity of the country,” ICSTI president Enrique Razon was quoted as saying.
Formed in 1987, ICTSI has set up port operations in the Philippines, Japan, China, India, the United States as well as areas few Philippine firms will enter like Croatia, Georgia, Honduras and Nigeria.
In 2012, it was forced to pull out of Syria because of the civil war raging in that country.
“ICTSI believes in the economy of DR Congo and the expected superior growth rates,” the head of ICTSI’s African operations Jens Floe said in a statement.
He also stressed that the company would take the necessary safeguards, saying “the safety of our staff is our first priority. We will ensure correct measures are taken to provide suitable security measurements.”
He also said the situation in that country was “fast improving” and most of the unrest was taking place in other regions.