The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has expanded its terminal equipment haul with a $15 million state-of-the-art Mobile Harbour Cranes (MHCs) and two Reach Stackers at the Onne Port in Rivers State, all commissioned last Tuesday.
Reliable sources say it is part of WACT vision of becoming the ‘Gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond’ by boosting efficiency and cargo handling operation in the zone.
The additional container handling equipment, it was gathered, will further improve the already quick turnaround time for vessels calling at WACT.
The two new MHCs and handling equipment acquired by the company are said to be valued at $15 million thereby increasing the number to four of such machines deployed into its operations, even as one more is expected to arrive in 2021.
At the commissioning ceremony of the new cranes in Onne, the WACT Managing Director, Mr. Aamir Mirza, said the latest set of equipment were acquired as part of the terminal’s $100 million investment announced in 2019 to significantly increase the terminal capacity.
“Our equipment and infrastructure upgrade are the key enablers for WACT to better serve her customers. Our cranes shall offer improved and higher productivity, which means shorter port stay of vessels, resulting in saving to our liner customers. We are now able to handle the next generation and larger gearless vessels.
“This investment will include the deployment of reefer racks having 600+ plugs, a new workshop, larger powerhouse and 20 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes. All of this will result in more efficient operations and shall enable customers to take delivery of their cargo much earlier,” he said.
Mirza said with the massive investment at the terminal, WACT had established itself as the largest and most efficient container terminal in East Nigeria, adding that the company had created 2,950 direct and indirect job opportunities in the country.
He added, “Our vision is to make WACT the gateway to East Nigeria and beyond. We believe this vision can be achieved much earlier if the government can support us by addressing some fundamental challenges like security risk because of piracy, clearance of overtime containers, improving roads and related infrastructure that connect Onne Port to the rest of Nigeria”.