The Freeport of Monrovia, the gateway and the heartbeat to the economy, has seen increased activity over the few last weeks. On Friday, September 29, 2023, APM Terminals Liberia, operators of the Freeport of Monrovia, presented their latest investment to stakeholders. It is a US$15 million commitment for two latest generation German-made Liebherr 600 model mobile harbor cranes which will be used to load and offload containers from ships calling at the Freeport.
This investment will greatly enhance the productivity of the port and reduce vessel waiting time for shipping lines, which will translate to reduction of prices in the market for goods imported into Liberia, a direct boost for the economy.
The cranes, along with the recently completed dredging of the Freeport of Monrovia, paves the way for even larger and more economical gearless vessels. By enabling larger vessels with more containers to call, this project is in line with the country’s vision to attract more investments and stimulate economic growth.
This historic project has been driven by the notable partnership between APM Terminals Liberia, the National Port Authority (NPA), Liberian Maritime Authority (LiMA) and the Government of Liberia (GOL). Together with regulatory stakeholders and strong partners, APM Terminals Liberia remains dedicated to transforming the Freeport of Monrovia into an economically viable gateway to the Mano River Union basin.
At a presentation ceremony held at the quayside of the Freeport of Monrovia and graced by government, diplomatic and business leaders, a number of speakers emphasized the importance of these game changing assets for handling containers and how they would significantly increase the cargo handling capacity at the port, increase the productivity and reduce the waiting time of vessels. This massive investment will enhance recent gains of the efficiency of the digital port processes and even further improve the ease of doing business and revenue mobilization for Liberia.
Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah Jr., the keynote speaker, commended APM Terminals Liberia for the historic and transformative purchase.
“Today is a very significant day in the history of the Free Port of Monrovia, the Republic of Liberia and for APM Terminals Liberia. The strong partnership between us and the various port stakeholders has been demonstrated once again, and we are immensely grateful to all involved in this project. Let me please reiterate the importance of these partnerships and these steps of going above and beyond expectations. These partnerships are crucial to us, and we see it as the only way we can collectively transform the Free Port of Monrovia and the economy of Liberia,” remarked Minister Tweah.
Diana Nebo, Managing Director, National Port Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this equipment and how in due course it would enhance the mandate and goals of the Port Authority.
“As the regulatory authority of ports in Liberia, we are invested in deepening our long-term and collaborative partnership with APM Terminals Liberia. This new equipment is the most technologically advanced mobile harbor cranes in the world and will significantly enhance productivity and certainly help in our ambitious drive to reaffirm the Free Port of Monrovia’s position as the gateway to the economy of Liberia and the Mano River Union.” said Managing Director Nebo.
The brand new world-class mobile harbor cranes were built to APM Terminals Liberia’s specification and are applicable to quay and operations at the Freeport of Monrovia.
Spearheading the project is APM Terminals Liberia’s Etienne Saint-Jean, Head of Operations, who emphasized the importance of this significant investment.
Speaking about the preparatory work done by the APM Terminals team in the lead up to this presentation, Etienne Saint-Jean said the various logistics, technical know-how, transfer of knowledge and training have all been acquired by Liberians to ensure continued smooth operation and maximizing the capacity, efficiency, and potential of the new machines.
“The progress we have made to date lays the foundation for continued training and development of our teammates to deliver world class service and efficiency to our clients, customers and the people of Liberia. Congratulations to all my teammates for the time, dedication, and hard work we have all put in to make today a historic one,” Saint-Jean said while giving stakeholders the project’s highlights.
The project has also received strong support from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Development, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Transport, Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), National Port Authority (NPA), Liberian Maritime Authority (LMA), National Bureau of Concessions (NBC), the Association of Shipping Lines Representatives of Liberia, Custom Brokers Association, Liberia Truckers Union (LTU) and all port users.