Authorities at the National Port Authority or NPA announced Monday June 19, 2017 that they have completed the dredging of the Freeport of Monrovia to a depth of 13.5 meters and in some places, 14.5 meters, in order to accommodate larger and wilder vessels, provide for safe navigation and facilitate trade and commerce.
The dredging which was completed last week Friday, June 16, 2017, was executed by the Norwegian company, Nordsee, a subsidi
ary of Dredging Environment Marine International (DEME Group) who was the Most Responsive Bidder selected from among the six (6) companies that submitted bids in an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process executed by the National Port Authority and the outcome approved by the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC).
In 2012, the last time the Freeport of Monrovia was dredged prior to this current exercise, it was dredged to 12.5 meters depth. This depth reduced to 11.5 meters as a result of siltation buildup over the five years period. A SAFE MEMO reducing draft requirement soon followed, limiting the size of vessels that could come in because the entrance channel had narrowed and the depth reduced.
As a result of the just completed dredging, the depth has increased to 13.5 meters in most places and 14.5 in other areas, eliminating the need for draft restriction which has been lifted immediately. The areas around the new Fuel Unloading Facility (FUF) which is to be completed and commissioned shortly, was also dredged to similar depth. The safe navigational buoy that was sitting ashore as a result of siltation built-up was recovered and repositioned in order to continue facilitating 24 hours safe vessel movements.
The NPA Managing Director expressed delight in the completion of the dredging exercises because it accommodate the global trending where vessels are becoming bigger in order to accomplish economy of scale – discharging more cargoes for multiple consignees on a single trip.
Mr. David Williams said as a consequence of this dredging, it is expected that cargo throughput at the Freeport of Monrovia will increase since the port can now attract and accommodate bigger and wilder vessel safely and reliably. The NPA Managing Director further averred that going forward, it is his hope that it will no longer take five years before dredging is done; but that the required two years maintenance dredging will be carried out accordingly in order to keep attracting bigger and larger vessels to a safer and reliable port to spur trade and commerce.
The NPA Managing Director thanked all partners including the MOJ, MFDP, PPCC, APM Terminals and the abled staff of the National Port Authority, especially the Marine personnel, for the cooperation and assistance through this exercise.
Mr. Williams thanked the shipping community for keeping faith with Liberia’s port system and assured the community of a continued safe and reliable port environment to call at all time.