The main purchase consists of four rubber-tyred gantry cranes from Reggiane, each with a capacity of 40.6 tonnes. These are due for delivery by the first quarter of 2007 and are expected to increase the terminal’s handling capacity. Also on order are three reach stackers, 17 tractors, 21 trailers, autotwist spreader systems and empty handling equipment. Ten of the 17 tractors have recently been delivered by Kalmar, bringing the current size of MICT’s tractor fleet to 14 prime movers and 21 chassis.
Christian R Gonzalez, chief executive of Madagascar International Container Terminal Services Ltd (MICTL), which operates the terminal, said: “We are positioning the MICT as a secondary hub in Africa, in particular serving vessels servicing African-Asian trade. Our initial goal is to increase yard capacity by 70 per cent and make cargo handling operations for truckers, importers and exporters far more efficient. Also, it is part of our commitment to bring in the best equipment for container handling and to modernise Toamasina in line with the best international standards.”
The purchases are part of a US$25m investment programme aimed at upgrading container handling capabilities at Madagascar’s main port. Other improvements include rehabilitation and strengthening of the quay and container yards; construction of a gatehouse, operations control centre and administration building; enhanced safety, security and organisational systems; and more extensive staff training.