For the first time in five years, the management of the National Port Authority (NPA) has completed dredging the Freeport of Monrovia to a depth of 13.5 meters and in some places, 14.5 meters, in order to accommodate larger and wider vessels and to provide for safe navigation and facilitate trade and commerce.

The dredging, which was completed last week Friday, was executed by the Norwegian company, Nordsee, a subsidiary of Dredging Environment Marine International (DEME Group) who was the most responsive bidder selected from among the six companies that submitted bids in an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process executed by the National Port Authority. The outcome was approved by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC).

In 2012, the Freeport of Monrovia was dredged to a depth of 12.5 meters. This depth reduced to 11.5 meters as a result of siltation buildup over the last five years. 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 was immediately lifted. The areas around the new Fuel Unloading Facility (FUF) which is to be completed and commissioned shortly, was also dredged to a similar depth. The safe navigational buoy that was sitting ashore as a result of siltation build-up was recovered and repositioned in order to continue facilitating 24-hour safe vessel movements.

The NPA managing director expressed delight in the completion of the dredging because it accommodates the global trend 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 throughout the Freeport of Monrovia will increase since the port can now attract and accommodate bigger and wilder vessels safely and reliably. The NPA managing director said going forward, it is his hoped that it will no longer take five years before dredging is done; but that the required two-year 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 Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Public Procurement and Concession Commission, APM Terminals and the staff of the NPA, especially the marine personnel, for the cooperation and assistance throughout the exercise.

Mr. Williams also 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 times.

6 COMMENTS

  1. It’s shocking/surprising; that the Free Port of Monrovia have not been DREDGED for five years. No wonder, the rise of SEA LEVEL and the DAMAGE already done. Free Port of Monrovia; by design, must be DREDGE 24/7, just as it was during the peak of Iron Ore Shiping activities by FOREIGN CONCESSIONS. The same is truth for Port Buchanan…

  2. The Port is like a POOL full of water. If you allow DEBRIS to ACCUMULATE at the bottom, of course the “WATER LEVEL” will rise. That’s common sense. One doesn’t have to be an Engineer or Rocket Scientist to know that. In Liberia, we have major RIVERS within the vicinity of our MAJOR PORTS. Those RIVERS are bringing DEBRIS 24/7; that may Indeed; end up at the BOTTOM of our PORTS. THIS PROBLEM MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY, TO ADVOID A MAJOR “CATASTROPHY.”

  3. Mr. M, thanks for the project carried out on the Freeport of Monrovia, may we know when the other ports, Buchanan, Greenvillie and Harper, receive similar treatment? I was always under the impression that it would be cheaper if dredging was jointly carried out as this would cut out the mobilization fees, thereby, reducing the overall dredging cost to the NPA.
    Thanks again Mr. MD, I am just trying to add my two cents to the excellent job, I am told, that you are doing at the NPA; I can see, you were trained well, you did not eat your school fees.

  4. If the Government fully equips our ARMY ENGINEERS CORPES and the Coast Guard; our major PORTS can be DREDGED in due time. It will save us MONEY and the PORTS will be fully operational at all times. Let’s put the ARMY ENGINEERS CORPES to work;to solve some of our INFRASTRUCTURE PROBLEMS.

  5. Liberia still depends on expatriates to carry out mundane duties, those as dredging our ports, rehabitating our roads,causing us to pay foreign exchange to these entities. where are our own engineers trained in our universities? We need to revisit programs offered at our school, and make them practical to our developmental needs.

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