The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) recently moved a step further to realising its vision of becoming the ‘Gateway to East Nigeria and 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 are 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 expected to arrive in 2021.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the new cranes in Onne, Rivers State on Tuesday, the Managing Director of WACT, 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 its 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 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.