This service comprises 22 West Africa-Maximum (Waf-Max) sized vessels, which, at 249 m long, 37.4 m wide and with a draught of 12.5 m, represent the largest vessels that can currently be accommodated at West Africa’s major container ports. Passage of the 4,500 teu capacity ‘Maersk Copenhagen’ was made possible following the widening of the channel and removal of wrecks in the Bonny Channel by the Nigerian Port Authority.
APM Terminals’ (APMT) is currently investing US$30m to improve the terminal as part of the company’s overall West Africa port modernisation plan, which is designed to serve the market’s demographic growth and expanding middle class. According to a UN report released this year, Nigeria’s population is expected to grow to 440 million by 2050.
WACT has a current capacity of 212,000 teu and will handle just short of that at 210,000 teu by the end of this year (2013). Volumes at Onne have tripled in the past five years.
Elsewhere in Nigeria, APMT owns and operates the country’s largest container terminal in the Port of Apapa, where it has invested US$200m since the start of operations in 2006. The company is also developing a new deep-water mega-port at the Badagry Free Trade Zone, 55 km (34 miles) west of Apapa, which will be the largest port in Africa and serve Nigeria’s growing economy.