The Port of Buchanan will no longer be constrained to operate only one shift or only in the daytime, because its management in collaboration with ArcelorMittal has completed the installation of aids to navigation.
The installation followed three years of collaborative efforts with ArcelorMittal, the management of the National Port Authority (NPA) said.
Acting NPA Managing Director, David F. Williams, made the disclosure yesterday at a press conference in Monrovia.
He said the facility was tested back and forth on technical and operational details relative to extended operating hours in the Port before it was installed.
Aids to navigation (or navigation aids) are special structures or markers intended to guide vessels in determining their position or safe course, or to warn them of dangers or obstructions to navigation.
Mr. Williams said the facility will help increase vessel traffic and government revenue through tariff, taxes and royalties.
He noted that the Buchanan Port will reduce vessels idling time on all berths and full utilization of all berth and berthing opportunities.
‘’Buchanan Port has taken a giant step to becoming a competitive port of call by going 24/7, demanding additional work force from all the stakeholders, including NPA, by providing additional job opportunities for Liberians,’’ he said.
He said the decision to go 24 hours in the Port of Buchanan is to increase economic activities in the county.
However, Mr. Williams said the installation of the navigation aids means that Liberia has taken a step toward becoming a competitive port in the region.
He further disclosed that APM Terminals procured the navigation aids on behalf of NPA, according to the NPA’s technical specification and had them installed at cost-with no additional charges or cost of capital to NPA.
APM Terminals will recover the cost of purchasing and installing the aids through deductions from NPA Government of Liberia royalty, said Williams.
He said in full compliance with the applicable regulations, the NPA has sought the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) advice in the process and also sought and obtained the approval of the Debt Management Committee to proceed along this line.
At the same time, Mr. Williams also disclosed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between APM Terminals and NPA has been drafted, pending signature between the two companies.
Mr. Williams used the occasion to acknowledge President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her leadership support and guidance to the management team at NPA, including Board of Directors for providing appropriate governance in ensuring that the port actions are circumscribed within the framework of policies and regulations as is required.