Kuwaiti Loan to Boost Greenville Port

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The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development’s recent US$14 million loan to Liberia will help boost the physical infrastructure of the seaport of Greenville, National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director Matilda Parker has observed. The loan agreement was consummated between the government of Liberia and the Kuwaiti Fund last year, but it requires a legislative ratification before implementation in line with the Liberian constitution. According to the loan agreement, the repayment period is 22 years with a four-year grace period.

Providing some details of the agreement on SKY FM Phone-in Talk Show yesterday, Madam Parker declared that the interest rate on the loan is highly concessional at 1.5 percent interest rate and 0.5 percent service fees.

The NPA boss assured the public that the return on investment on the loan is 22 percent conservatively. She noted that the Kuwaiti loan is directly for the development of the port of Greenville, Sinoe County and the purchasing of tugboat for that port.

“This loan could not have come at a better time,” the NPA boss added as she praised the government of Liberia for contracting the credit from the Fund, which as she put it, “will help improve the economy of the southeastern region.”

The NPA Managing Director declared that part of the money will be used to build a container park, fishing ram and other infrastructure for the port to enhance increase shipping activities.

She noted that as part of the agreement, the government of Liberia through the NPA has completed the design and dredging of the port of Greenville. The US$14 million Kuwaiti loan is currently before the national legislature for approval.

Madam Parker, who was expected to appear before a legislative committee for public hearing yesterday, announced that that the work on Greenville Port is expected to be completed in two years if the agreement is ratified.

“We will advertise an international bid for tugboat which will take few weeks,” she stated. Greenville port currently handles 14 logging concessions and two oil palm concessions namely Equatorial Oil Palm and Golden Veroleum.

Majority of the callers on the talk show praised Madam Parker for her excellent managerial style, which they observed, has led to improvement and gains including improved security, good wage structure for employees and port infrastructure development at the Freeport of Monrovia and other seaports in Buchanan, Greenville and Harper.

The NPA boss also assured the public that her management team is operating with plans and that the loan will not be a burden that NPA would not repay.

“I pray that I have plan in place to not only repay the Kuwaiti loan, but to replace myself as Managing Director of the NPA,” she said.

Madam Parker, however, admitted that implementation is a challenge everywhere in Liberia, but expressed confidence that with the port will be strong enough to repay taking clue from the level of development at the port authority.

She made specific reference to the port of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, which she disclosed is handling 60 percent of Liberia’s thorough put (imports and exports).

“Ports infrastructures are very expensive to build and so it is a challenging job to manage a port,” she stated. The NPA boss, who took over the NPA as Managing Director in 2009, noted that her dream is to improve Liberia’s port infrastructure in order to encourage more vessels to come to Liberia.                

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Fund only extends loans on concessionary term to finance development projects in developing countries. The Fund also provides technical assistance to finance the costs of the feasibility studies of projects, as well as the training of nationals of the borrowing countries.

In addition, the Fund subscribes in the capital of international and regional development institutions. The Fund makes loans and provides guarantees, makes grants by way of technical assistance and providing other types of technical assistance and contributes to capital stocks of international and regional development finance institutions and other development institutions and representing the State of Kuwait in such institutions.

The Port of Greenville is located in the southeastern region of the country, about 673.6 kilometers from the Freeport of Monrovia. The harbor is protected by a 400 meters long breakwater, and on its inner side, by two quays.

There are two berthing facilities, 70 meters and 180 meters respectively, with an existing depth 8/9 meters below chart datum. With the signing of fourteen (14) logging, one (1) iron ore, and two (2) oil palm concessions, we anticipate high vessel traffic at this port in the coming years.

The Port of Greenville is located in the southeastern region of the country, about 673.6 kilometers from the Freeport of Monrovia. The harbor is protected by a 400m long breakwater, and on its inner side, by two quays.  The Port of Greenville is an International Ship & Port Security (ISPS) certified Security Level Two port.

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