CMA CGM Appeal on Abidjan Port Terminal Dismissed by Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast’s Public Procurement Regulating Authority dismissed an appeal from a group led by CMA CGM SA in relation to a bid won by Bollore SA to run a second container terminal at the port of Abidjan.

The request from CMA CGM’s group last month for an annulment was unfounded, the regulatory agency in the world’s biggest cocoa producer said in a decision dated May 8 and published on its website.

The group, which includes ICTS Inc., CMA CGM unit Terminal Link, NCT Necotrans and Movis CI, had cited irregularities in the pre-selection procedure, non-compliance with competition laws and an arbitrary award process, the agency said.

Bollore Africa Logistics CI, Bouygues SA and A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s APM Terminals won a bid in March to build and run the second container terminal at the port of Abidjan, the commercial capital. Abidjan is Ivory Coast’s main harbor and also serves landlocked neighbors Burkina Faso and Mali.

The group offered 122 million euros ($158 million) for concession rights and 14 million euros for annual operating fees. The construction of the terminal will be made in public-private partnership and is expected to cost about 450 million euros. Geneva-based Mediterranean Shipping Co. and partners came second in the bidding while the CMA CGM-led group ranked third.

According to CMA CGM’s group, the inclusion of Bollore in the bidding last year broke competition rules as the Puteaux, France-based company runs the port’s first container terminal. Bollore made an offer based on supposed joint management of the two terminals, the agency said.

The final decision to award the bid to Bollore’s group was mainly based on the financial proposal more than on the technical assessment as Bollore offered more for the concession rights and operating fees, CMA CGM said, according to the agency.

The procurement authority said CMA CGM’s group “doesn’t demonstrate that it has been unfairly squeezed out of the bidding.”

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