Authorities of the National Port Authority (NPA) and APM Terminals yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to commence the process of purchasing and installing Aids to Navigation that will light the Freeport of Monrovia on a 24/7 basis.
The exercise, according to the terms of the MOU, will begin in October this year and continue through April next year following which the Freeport of Monrovia will have Aids to Navigation installed ready for 24/7 operations.
The APM Terminals will purchase the Aids to Navigation on behalf of NPA based on the entity’s technical specifications in line with International Association of Lighthouse Authority (IALA) standards and have them installed at interest-free cost. And APM Terminals will recover the cost of purchasing and installing the Aids to Navigation through deductions from the NPA/ Government of Liberia (GOL) royalty.
On October 24, the NPA, satisfied with the modifications in the technical specifications and installation of Aids to Navigation, and after taking a night time tour of the navigation, approved and authorized 24 hours operations in the port of Buchanan.
“We are pleased to say that for the first time in 25 years, the Port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa County sailed M/V CSL Atlas at 7 p.m. and berthed another vessel M/V Bulk Peru one hour later,” the NPA management said, following the signing ceremony.
For his part, APM Terminals Managing Director, George G. Adjei expressed satisfaction over the development.
“We have been operating in the Freeport of Monrovia for five years, and it is part of the concession agreement to refurbish the 600 meter key. Now with the deployment of the Navigational Aid, vessels will be able to berth and de-berth during the night hours,” he said.
He said the exercise is part of APM Terminals process which serves as “game changers” in operating the organization, which the management is excited about.
The Government of Liberia stands to benefit immensely from the latest development, “because revenue and royalty will be generated on a 24 hour basis,” Mr. Adjei also said.