The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) moved a step further to realizing its vision of becoming the ‘Gateway to East Nigeria & beyond’ as it commissioned two new state-of-the-art Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) and two Reach Stackers to boost efficiency and cargo handling operation at the Onne Port, Rivers State.
The additional container handling equipment will further improve the already quick turnaround time for vessels calling WACT.
The two new Mobile Harbor Cranes and handling equipment acquired by WACT is valued at $15 million. With the acquisition and commissioning of the new cranes, WACT now boasts of four MHCs deployed into its operations, with one more planned to arrive in 2021.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the new cranes in Onne, Rivers State, the Managing Director of WACT, Mr Aamir Mirza, said the latest set of equipment was 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 a 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 has established itself as the largest and most efficient container terminal in East Nigeria. He said the company has created 2,950 direct and indirect job opportunities in the country.
“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,” he said.
One of the newly commissioned Mobile Harbor Cranes acquired by the West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) at the Onne Port, Rivers State, on Tuesday.
The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd), who was represented at the event by the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of Zone C, ACG Elton Edorhe, while reiterating the commitment of NCS to trade facilitation, said the deployment of the new Mobile Harbor Cranes and Reach Stackers by WACT would improve efficiency and aid the quick release of cargo at the port, leading to increased revenue for the government.
He said, “Modern Customs is concerned about trade facilitation around the world. The deployment of these cranes will mean efficiency. More containers will be brought in and handled proficiently and that will increase revenue generation to the Federal Government coffers through Customs.
“Trade facilitation is a process that is all-encompassing. It is not only for one organization. Every stakeholder must be involved. So, we are happy that WACT is doing their part by investing more and commissioning this new equipment.”