The Acting Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia, David Forkpa Williams, has disclosed in Monrovia that the process of making the Freeport of Monrovia a 24/7 or 24 hours service port is in its advanced stage, and that between now and next April, it could in full operation.
“We will be calling the press again in order to make yet another profound announcement. APM Terminals offered to procure the aids to navigation on behalf of NPA, according to the NPA’s technical specification and have them installed at cost- with no additional charges or cost of capital to the NPA,” he said.
Mr. Williams made the disclosure in a press conference Tuesday, 20 October at the Freeport of Monrovia when he also announced that the commercial Port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County now has navigational facilities installed by ArcelorMittal Liberia, a mining company in collaboration with the Government of Liberia at an estimated cost of US$200,000.
“I am exceedingly pleased to announce today that our management team has approved the aids to navigation that have been installed and the port of Buchanan is now operational 24/7 – 24 hours a day effective as of this announcement. That means 24 hours pilot service at the port as well,” he added.
Director Williams said the rehabilitation effort will increase vessel traffic at the Buchanan Port, which will correspondingly increase government revenue through traffic, taxes and royalties. It will also increase full utilization of all berth and berthing opportunities, reduce, eliminate vessels idle time on all berth.
The new improvement will ensure safety navigation at the Buchanan harbor, including safety of maneuvering vessels within the harbor especially after dusk. The Acting Managing Director said 24 hours operation will create new jobs.
He recalled that on October 12, 2015, Arcelor Mittal requested a dispensation for the masters of the CLS Atlas to conduct vessel departure and arrival operations from the transshipment point to the berth at the Iron Ore Quay in Buchanan in the event that the two NPA pilots have each completed eight-hour tour of duty.
He also told the news conference that plans are underway for the pavement of the internal roads and reconstruction of the drainage systems in the Freeport of Monrovia. The appropriate approvals have been sought and obtained and the Public Procurement Concession Commission process has just begun with the approval of the 2015/16 budget by the Boards of Directors last week, according to the Acting MD.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Edited by Jonathan Browne