By Stanley Bangura :
In a bid to enhance efficiency and maintain high standards in service delivery to its customers at the Freetown Terminal Ltd, the vessel owners and consignees, Bollore Africa Logistic has in a snap decision invested US$5m beyond its present mandate, in a new TEREX|GOTTWALD Model 6 Harbour Crane in addition to the two existing 100 ton GOTTWALD cranes.
Though the two existing cranes had positioned the port as effective and an easy to do business place, the new crane will strengthen it efficiency and make the terminal an enviable one in the West Africa region, said Mr. Joseph Lambert the company’s secretary. Offloading and on loading will be further enhanced, increasing productivity and reducing time a vessel spends in port. Furthermore, the decision was progressive as the choice of crane took into consideration future developments and advancements of the terminal. It will also upkeep timing in the event of down time in any of the other cranes in time of maintenance. The Model 6 Harbour Crane is a class above the existing ones.
The crane, according to Bollore Officials the new crane has a lifting capacity of 125 tons with a longer boom reach, it is faster, better operator visibility, easy to maintain, ergonomic and environmentally friendly. Essentially, it is a machine of power and functionality required in a handling machine for high performance and higher handling rates. This crane can handle bigger vessels calling other ports in Africa, an attractive feature appealing and much to the advantage of ship owners who may now increase their carriage to the port by bringing in vessels of high capacity which may positively affect freight rates.
Bollore Africa Logistic has again demonstrated its faith in Sierra Leone with this investment, supporting the Government’s development plans, contributing to nation building and maintaining international confidence in the port.
When asked about the Port capacity to operate the new crane, Freetown Terminal’s General Manager Bertrand Kerguelen maintained that trained Sierra Leonean Crane Operators are readily available to operate the new ultra-modern crane and repairs will be done by Sierra Leonean technicians when the need arises. The crane arrived on the chartered vessel, Jumbo Javelin, on 14th December 2015 offloading was done on 15th December 2015 and completed at approximately 9:00am and immediately put to work on a vessel at about 3:00pm.
Such visionary planning by Bollore now puts the Freetown port’s performance and standard at par with others if not above and may soon be a candidate for being a transshipment hub in the region.