Togo port to handle 7,000 container vessels

Togo port _ a West African gateway _ to handle 7,000 container vessels by end 2013

Associated Press

LOME, Togo (AP) -- A French industrial conglomerate says Togo's port will be able to handle 7,000 container vessels by the end of the year — more than triple its current capacity.

The announcement comes following the construction of a 450-meter- (yard-) long and 15-meter (-yard) deep new quay. The Lome port is already the deepest in the subregion.

Bollore Africa Logistics CEO Dominique Lafont said Thursday that the renovations, which are expected to be completed in early 2015, will significantly increase the port's capacity to handle bigger vessels.

The Lome port currently handles only an average of 2,000 container vessels, and is the gateway to landlocked countries in West Africa including Burkina, Niger and Mali.

Lafont says such investments are important in order to prevent congestion amid growth in West Africa.

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