This commissioning of new facilities at Freetown Terminal is a new chapter for the port. Since winning the international tender launched by the Sierra Leonean authorities in March 2011, Bolloré Ports has made every effort to make Freetown Terminal the gateway to Sierra Leone and its hinterland, thus contributing to the country’s economic and social development.
After initially restoring the existing yards and purchasing modern equipment, which made it possible to increase the pace of production and handle a traffic increase of over 30%, major extension work began two years ago.
This work allowed for the construction of a 270-meter dock extension at a depth of 13 meters and the creation of a 3.5 hectare area of open ground. At the same time, Bolloré Ports has acquired new state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate ships of 6,000 TEU. For the first time in the country, two ship-to-shore gantry cranes and four container gantry cranes have been commissioned; handling equipment that meets the highest international standards. The container terminal is aiming for a processing capacity of 750,000 TEU in the future.
The berthing and the unloading of the first commercial vessel on August 29, 2018 marks the beginning of the exploitation of this infrastructure and manutentian equipments, thus complying with the commitments of delays made to the Sierra Leonean authorities.
Priority given to training
Under its training policy deployed wherever it operates, Bolloré Ports is committed to training its employees in Sierra Leone. The company has thus enabled 35 Sierra Leonean port gantry operators to benefit from specific training allowing them to become familiar with the new equipment received in May.
Over the last three months, 12 operators have been trained to drive ship-to-shore gantry cranes and 23 to drive container gantry cranes. Their training, which is delivered by Global Port Training, started in June with theory classes and simulator sessions for both types of equipment and continues today with practical teaching that will be complemented by regular coaching from September.
At the same time, several hundred jobs will also be created locally, along with a skills transfer programme for Sierra Leoneans.