The United States of America Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Ambassador Maria E. Brewer over the weekend showered praises on Bolloré Transport and Logistics for what she described as the company’s modern development work on the expansion of the Freetown Port Terminal.
The ambassador was on Friday 8th December, 2017 at the Port on a conducted tour aimed at accessing development work at the quay.
She said ports have always been the life blood of any country’s economic development, adding that with such expansion project perfectly undertaken by Bolloré, Sierra Leone stands ready to boost its economy.
Ambassador Brewer said she was glad to see such a wonderful development whiles hoping that Sierra Leone will take ownership of the port upon its completion.
She concluded by assuring that the People and Government of the United States of America will continue to bring more development projects to Sierra Leone.
Updating the US Ambassador of the Company’s operation at the Port, Country Manager of Bolloré Transport and Logistics, Febjanko Kokan said his company 98% of local staffing. He cited that during good and bad times, the company has been solidly behind and in support to the people of Sierra Leone. During natural disasters like the Ebola and flood/mudslide, Bolloré empathized and sympathized with the country and donate much needed items to victims.
The country manager went on that Freetown Terminal Limited, a subsidiary of Bolloré swiftly responded the President Koroma call for all at national and International level to help alleviate the predicament of victims of 14th August, 2017 mudslide and flooding that claimed the lives of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans in different locations in the city by donating food and non-food items worth over one hundred million Leones.
He said the donated items include 200 bags of rice, 20 rubbers of cooking oil, bags of onion, sugar, and used cloth, cartoons of sugar, tea bags, sardine, soap, milk and bundles of sachet water among others.
He ended that when the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) struck Sierra Leone on May 25, 2014, it left the nation in deep shock as to how to respond to a disaster of such magnitude, especially as the country’s medical sector was caught napping.
According to him, it was Bolloré that managed the operations of the national Port during the Ebola scourge.
It can be recalled that on Friday, October 14, 2016, the official launch of the extension works of the container terminal of the Port of Freetown was done in the presence of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his Minister of Transport and Aviation Leonard Balogun Koroma.
After six month of engineering and design study, Bolloré Ports is currently expanding the capacity of Freetown Terminal by building up a new 270m quay with a draught of 13m, backed by 3.5 hectares of storage yard, taking the total capacity of the container terminal to 750,000 TEUs.
Brand new state-of-the-art equipment, including two ship-to-shore gantries and four gantry cranes have been set up at Freetown Terminal, with the goal of doubling productivity at the container terminal within four years. The new quay will be operational within three years with modern equipment.
The whole of the investment, including infrastructure and equipment, amounting to $120 million, funded by Bolloré Group and the project will enable the creation of 500 jobs, as well as generating indirect employment for hundreds of people. The Bolloré Group will also build capacity through high level skills transfer.
Bolloré Transport & Logistics, which has been managing the container terminal via the Freetown Terminal organisation since 2011, has already invested $37 million in yard rehabilitation and in the purchase of equipment to modernize the facility. This modernization work has enabled a significant traffic increase of around 30% in the last four years.
Today, the Freetown container terminal meets international quality, safety and security standards, and has been acknowledged by ISPS certification.
The project yet again demonstrates Bolloré Group’s confidence in Sierra Leone, a nation that is continuing to speed up its development through investment.
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