Côte d'Ivoire: Hyundai Rotem and Dongsan, evicted from Abidjan metro project
(Ecofin Agency) - Though it was being said in the Ivorian business environment, now it is official. The two Korean firms involved in the Abidjan metro project are out of the game.
In effect, following a council of ministers held last Wednesday, October 25, the Ivorian government approved the acquisition of the shares of both companies, namely Hyundai Rotem (33%) and Dongsan Engineering (9%), in the project by the Société de Transport Abidjanais sur Rail (STAR), its concessionaire.
According to the government, this decision “aims to revive this project which is highly strategic for the Abidjan District”. Moreover, it occurs as the concession agreement signed in July 2015, and englobing conception, financing, development and operation of Abidjan’s metro, “could not be implemented due to various challenges related to the project’s definition and funding modalities”.
By acquiring the shares of Hyundai Rotem and Dongsan Engineering, the Ivorian State thus increased its share in the project, via STAR, to 42%, therefore becoming the majority stakeholder, besides the French firm Bouygues (33%) and Keolis, subsidiary of SNCF (25%).
Estimated to cost €1.4 billion (about CFA918.34 billion), fully funded by France, the first line of the Abidjan metro will be 37.9km long and should carry 300,000 people daily.
Construction works for the project are officially to begin at the end of November 2017, in the presence of the French President, Emmanuel Macron.