LIBERIA: Buchanan Port Beefing up Internal Capacity to Handle AML Phase Two Expansion
The director of the sea port of Buchanan in Grand Bassa has disclosed he is making “frantic efforts” to strengthen the port’s internal capacity.
Port Director Civicus Barsi-Giah told local media he believes when the port’s capacity is enhanced it will make room “to handle complex cargo” tonnage in the wake of ArcelorMittal’s Phase Two Expansion.
ArcelorMittal Liberia has commenced its Phase Two Expansion with the port of Buchanan vital for movement into Liberia of huge logistical movement and as well, the production and shipment of its proposed 30 million tons of iron ore per year.
Logistics key for the expansion and the construction of an iron ore concentrator in Yekepa are being moved from across Europe, Africa and other parts of the world to Liberia for the purpose of building a multifaceted mining facility in Nimba, and other infrastructure upgrades in Grand Bassa County.
In the processing stage of ore, the concentrator is key in that it ensures the mined material is transformed into usable raw material.
In the case of Mittal and its mining activity in Nimba, the concentrator will be used for the crushing the ore and then concentrating it in different ways, for example by milling, flotation or magnetic separation.
It is the building of this concentrator couple with upgrades on the railway that demand shipment of vast logistics into Liberia for which the Port of Buchanan is so vital.
The Buchanan sea port has already started receiving such logistical shipment but the port manager told local media in Buchanan it is ideal as well that the enabling capacity be give the port where ArcelorMittal’s consignment of logistics and ore can be received or shipped out of the country.
Port Director Civicus Barsi-Giah who appeared on Ablee-Jay Radio and TV for an hour long discussion supported the expansion saying “ we are making frantic efforts to ensure that our port absorbs significant portion of the over 8,000 tons of iron ore the company intends lifting per hour”.
He furthered admitted that this new expansion of ArcelorMittal will help the port to raise additional income and deal with necessary technical and administrative issues.
“The expansion of ArcelorMittal Liberia will enhance income generation at the port and will also create jobs for Liberians”.
Commenting on the current capacity of the port relative to AML’s projected target of 30 million tons per annual (mtpa) up from 15, Barsi-Giah pointed out that he’s working with partners to ensure that some “cleaning” of the port is done in the soonest possible time.
He said talks have been ongoing with partners for the dredging of the Port.
These discussion according to him have gone juts 25% but he is hopeful of reaching a 60% conclusion by January, 2023.
The Buchanan Port Manager, has in the interim welcomed the partnership with AML amidst the expansion project.
He told host Elton Tiah it will boost operations and income revenue generation for the port and the Government of Liberia and, create more jobs when done “honestly”.
“Such partnership, especially when earnestly done brings a lot of boosts and enthusiasm and helps the workers to have a great experience”, he said.
“The Port of Buchanan through its commercial pier is going to be a direct beneficiary of AML Phase Two expansion project, and we’re very, very happy to see that happening,” said director Barsi-Giah.