Mining&Business: Hello. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your company?
Thierry Ballard: Bolloré Group was created in 1822. It is one of the world’s 500 largest companies. It is able to establish a long-term investment strategy thanks to the stability of its shareholder base. On the strength of its diversification strategy, based on innovation and international development (55,000 employees across 152 countries), the Group holds strong positions in three sectors: Transportation and Logistics, Communication, and Electricity Storage. Bolloré Group has been in Africa for over 50 years working in transportation and logistics infrastructure. It is present in 46 countries and manages around 15 port concessions and 3 rail concessions (Camrail, Sitarail and Benirail). Every year the Group injects an average €300 million into the continent to develop transportation infrastructure and tailor-made multimodal logistics solutions.
MBM: What challenges do you face?
TB: Bolloré Group has undertaken ambitious rail projects in West Africa. The Group works in tandem with various governments to upgrade and operate existing networks and built strategic new railway extensions.
One of the major stakes at hand is to complete the 2,740km West African rail loop that will connect Abidjan to Lomé passing through Ougadougou, Niamey and Cotonou. The rehabilitation of the existing network and construction of new sections (approximately 1,500km) will eventually reduce travel times and increase the volume of transported goods. Investments should reach a total €2 billion over the next eight years.
MBM: Would you be interested in a takeover of the SNCC in the DRC?
TB: Why not? We of course take great interest in all requests when a government solicits us.
Article publié dans Mining and Business n°3 – Novembre/Décembre 2015