Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 November 2017
Bollore Transport and Logistics a renowned port handler in France with branches across the globe, has completed over 50% of the current works on the 270m container terminal extension at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay in Freetown.
At a depth of 13m, plus 707m, to a depth, forming a central of 3.5 hectares, the Freetown Container Terminal extension works commenced marginally over a year ago, with funds from Bollore Ports, a sub-division of Bollore Transport and Logistics and will be fully completed in September 2018.
The $120 million investment is in sync with government’s development aspirations to transform the Queen Elizabeth II Quay into a large state-of the art transhipment hub in West Africa, create job opportunities, raise the port’s level of income and revenue generation, install cranes, erect a new 27m berth, two ship terminal shores, improve port service delivery capacity to accommodate over six thousand container vessels, host deep sea ships, and above all tap into the potentials for sustainable economic growth of Sierra Leone.
With the highest level of commitments being demonstrated so far by the management, Bollore Transport and Logistics is presently making substantial contribution towards the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone, through diverse means coupled with the continuing extension of the Freetown Container Terminal, directly employing well over 200 Sierra Leoneans as stipulated in the country’s local content policy.
Project supervisor Infrastructure Engineer, Valerie Bernner said the extension work is also providing a middle-level man-power capacity development support to staff through skill training, in the areas of carpentry, masonry, welding, electrical installation – among other trades that would enable Sierra Leoneans acquire transfer of knowledge, and prepare themselves for future tasks in the event foreign consultants are made redundant by the company.
The company she furthered, is at an advanced stage of the installation of ultramodern equipment, including cranes and a six megawatts thermal electricity plant to provide the port with regular power supply.
She disclosed that when finally completed, the Freetown Container Terminal will be of the same standard as ports in Conakry, Darkar, and Accra; and will be 24 hours – 365 days operational as a trans-shipment hub with landing, loading and unloading uninterrupted, to meet international demands in the entire sub-region.
President Ernest Bai Koroma in a statement during the commissioning of the refurbishment work on 14 October, 2016 said the venture is an indication of Sierra Leone’s readiness for business.
Country Manager Bollore Logistics and Transport, Captain Fabjanko Kokan said his company will continue to make the required industrious efforts to meet the timeframe slated for the completion of the Freetown Container Terminal.
He said that Bollore is in Sierra Leone to stay, serving as a reliable partner and in full compliance with the local content policy, which is why so many Sierra Leoneans are being employed directly by the company, to work together with experts and other foreign consultants.
Apart from commitment towards the completion of the terminal extension project, Bollore Transport and Logistics have always proved to be very sensitive to its cooperate social responsibilities, as manifested in its recent donation of relief items to the August 14th, 2017 flash flood and mudslide disaster victims; and the awarding of scholarships to over 200 Junior and Senior Secondary School pupils from Susan’s Bay and Mabayla communities respectively.
The company also made noteworthy financial and moral assistances to the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, and remained abundantly operational throughout the eighteen months of the poisonous EVD outbreak.
During this time, it provided humanitarian and cooperate services to government and the people, assuring ship owners worldwide to continue to berth at the Freetown Container Terminal as the gateway of the country.
The company went the extra mile and waived terminal fees on all Ebola consignments amounting to billions of Leones, and simultaneously provided transparent and accountable systems for receipt and delivery of emergency relief supplies, all in furtherance of consistently honouring its cooperate social responsibility in communities of operations in times of need.
Bollore rendered support to fire victims at Black Hall Road Kissy, Fourah Bay Road and Coconut Farm communities in the east of Freetown.
The first class integrated logistics network and port handler in Africa with 36 years record of operational experience in Sierra Leone, is working hard to deliver on its mandate to improve international trade, easy movement of vessels in and out of the port.