The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) is set to commence the Phase 2 upgrade within the next 18 months to meet growing volumes.
The phase 2 upgrade includes adding a lot of new equipment including three additional mobile harbour cranes (MHCs), bringing the total in operation to five, 20 rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, three reachstackers, 13 terminal trucks and trailers as well as an empty container handler.
Noah Sheriff, WACT’s commercial manager, said: “The upgrade will also include the installation of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as a 13 ha expansion and of our current yard, paving, a new workshop and a new terminal gate complex.”
The terminal has forecasted additional growth on top of the consistently growing volumes as more shipping lines, importers and exporters develop confidence in WACT’s ability to handle their cargo.
Sheriff added: Investment in Phase 2 will ensure that we are well prepared to handle this additional business in the future.
“It will increase productivity and improve reliability of cargo delivery, whilst reducing port stays and vessel idle time. Together this will lead to greater customer satisfaction.”
In 2019, WACT spent US$14m to acquire equipment including two MHCs, 14 specialised terminal trucks and two reachstackers which improved operational efficiency.
Aamir Mirza, WACT’s managing director, said: “Our vision is to make WACT the best performing container terminal in West Africa.
“We believe this vision can be achieved through active collaboration with the government to reduce the security challenges faced by vessels in our waters, and improved road connectivity.”
The terminal has also been handling gearless vessels since December 2019, which previously could only be handled at ports in Lagos.
Chief Gabriel Okonkwo, chairman of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria, Onne Port, said: “There has been a substantial increase in import volume and to measure up with that, they have acquired a lot of equipment to ease cargo clearance and we commend them for that because they are doing very well.
“They are keeping up with the demand, they can receive vessels, load and drop containers for examination, all at the same time.”