Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, officially inaugurated a new port navigation system installed at the Monrovia Free Port which will enable 24-hour port access to the port for the first time in three decades.
Previously, the absence of buoys, lighting and electronic navigation systems limited port access to daylight hours only. The new equipment includes 12 off-shore buoys and two land-based range markers, which were installed at a cost of approximately US$500,000.
George Adjei, Managing Director of APM Terminals (APMT) Liberia, said: “The return to 24-hour accessibility to the port is another major milestone in the development of the Liberian economy as a global trading partner, and increases the ability of APM Terminals Liberia to serve the people and businesses of Liberia, and the region.”
APMT began operations at the Port of Monrovia in February, 2011 under a 25-year concession agreement for the privatisation of the port concluded in 2010.
Under the terms of the agreement, $120 million will be invested in port upgrades, with over USD $100 million invested to date.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) formally approved Liberia’s membership on December 16, 2015 at the Geneva-based, 162-member group’s Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi.
With the ratification of the Liberian WTO Protocol of Ascension, Liberia will become the WTO’s one hundred and sixty third member nation.
Membership becomes effective 30 days after the official ascension notification is received by the WTO.
Approximately 350 vessels call the Port of Monrovia annually. APMT Liberia handles approximately 95% of the country’s trade, which includes more than 725,000 tonnes of general cargo, as well as containerised trade. Container throughput at the facility was 98,000 TEU in 2015.