Project ID: 350

China Eximbank provides $423 million preferential buyer's credit for Phase 1 of Kribi Deep Sea Port Project (Linked to Project ID#53396, #53116)

Commitment amount

$ 520239316.70736027

Adjusted commitment amount

$ 520239316.71

Constant 2021 USD


Funding agency [Type]

Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) [State-owned Policy Bank]




Transport and storage (Code: 210)

Flow type


Level of public liability

Central government debt

Financial distress






Mixed (The next section lists the possible statuses.)





Financial Flow Classification

OOF-like (The next section lists the possible statuses.)

Official Development Assistance

Other Official Flows

Vague (Official Finance)

Flows categorized based on OECD-DAC guidelines

Project lifecycle


Completion (The next section lists the possible statuses.)










Actual start


Planned complete


Actual complete


NOTE: Red circles denote delays between planned and actual dates



On January 12, 2011, China Eximbank signed a preferential buyer's credit (PBC) agreement [CHINA EXIMBANK PBC No.(2011) 1 TOTAL NO.(152) No. 1420303052011210025] with the Republic of Cameroon worth $423,000,000 USD for Phase 1 of Kribi Deep Sea Port Project. The borrowing terms of the PBC were as follows: a 2% interest rate, a 0% default (penalty) interest rate, a 7 year grace period, a 20 year maturity, a 0.3% commitment fee, and a 0.3% management fee. The borrower agreed to deposit project-related revenues in a revenue account to facilitate repayment. The proceeds of the PBC were to be used by the borrower to finance 85% of the total cost ($497,468,255) of a commercial contract between China Harbour Engineering Company Limited and Cameroon's Ministry of Economy. The Republic of Cameroon originally agreed to cover the remaining 15% of the project cost, but it later renegotiated and reportedly did not pay for this component of the project. As of December 31, 2020, the loan (PBC) had achieved a 100% disbursement rate. The loan’s outstanding amount was equivalent to CFA 191.5 billion as of December 31, 2020. The purpose of the project was undertake the first phase of the construct of a deep seaport in the Atlantic coast town of Kribi, 300 km south of Yaounde. Upon completion, the main port was expected to receive large vessels with a capacity close to 100,000 tons. Construction began on January 10, 2010, and an official groundbreaking ceremony took place on October 8, 2011. The project was completed on April 6, 2015. Project ID#350 captures the China Eximbank PBC for Phase 1 of the Kribi Deep Sea Port Project. China Eximbank also provided financing for Phase 2 of the Kribi Deep Sea Port Project via a GCL (as captured via Project ID#53116) as well as a PBC (as captured via Project ID#53396). Phase 2 of the Kribi Deep Sea Port Project was completed on March 2, 2018. Following a call for tenders, the right to manage the container terminal of the port was awarded to a consortium made up of CHEC and two French companies, Bolloré and CMA CGM, while the right to operate the multipurpose terminal went to the consortium of the French Necotrans and the Cameroonian Kribi Port Multi Operators (KPMO). There are some indications that the China Eximbank loan for the first and second phases of the Kribi Deep Sea Port Project may have financially underperformed vis-a-vis the original expectations of the lender. In January 2019, Cameroon unilaterally withheld debt service payments to China Eximbank. The lender responded by withholding new loan disbursements. Then, in July 2019, China Eximbank and the Government of Cameroon signed a debt rescheduling agreement (as captured via Project ID#88213). Under the terms of the agreement, China Eximbank agreed to reschedule 18 loans previously contracted by the Government of Cameroon — with scheduled principal repayments between July 2019 and March 2022 — by allowing the borrower to defer scheduled principal repayments between July 2019 and March 2022 to later dates but without any maturity extensions. The total amount of restructured debt was equivalent CFA 148 billion ($253 million) — or 70% of the loan principal that was scheduled for repayment between July 2019 and March 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, the Government of Cameroon agreed to repay 30% of the loan principal according to the original July 2019-March 2022 schedule (i.e. without any payment deferrals). The lender and the borrower also agreed to cancel the committed but undisbursed loan balances worth approximately CFA 10 billion (for certain loans with disbursement deadlines that had already passed). Then, in January 2020, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) classified the Government Cameroon as facing a high risk of debt distress. Eighteen months later, during an address before Cameroon’s National Assembly on June 28, 2021, the Minister of Water and Energy (MINEE) Gaston Eloundou Esommba provided an update on the ICBC-financed Bini à Warak Hydroelectric Power Plant Project. He noted that the project had been 'on hold' since November 2019 because ICBC suspended the loan agreement, even though the Government of Cameroon had already mobilized XAF 22 billion of counterpart funding. He also explained that 'the reason for this suspension is that Cameroon did not settle some of its debts towards China on time, so, it is in a cross-default situation.’

Additional details

1. The French project title is Projet de construction du port en eau profonde de Kribi. The Chinese project title is 的克里比深水港项目. 2. The loan agreement can be accessed in its entirety via Source ID#67214 and 3. The project ID number for this transaction in Cameroon's Development Assistance Database (DAD) is CAM/000716. 4. One official source ( identifies the face value of the loan as $401,705,616 and the loan commitment date as July 21, 2011.

Number of official sources


Number of total sources


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Direct receiving agencies [Type]

Cameroon Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development (MINEPAT) [Government Agency]

Implementing agencies [Type]

China Harbour Engineering Co., Ltd. [State-owned Company]

Government of Cameroon [Government Agency]

Cameroon Ministry of Economy, Planning, and Regional Development (MINEPAT) [Government Agency]


Revenue account into which the borrower was required to deposit project-related revenues

Loan Details


20 years

Interest rate


Grace period

7 years

Grant element (OECD Grant-Equiv)


Bilateral loan

Export buyer's credit

Investment project loan

Preferential Buyer's Credit