The Managing Director of APM Terminals Liberia, George Adjei, said the company has invested US$110 million as part of its concession agreement with the government of Liberia, noting that the company is committed to offering reliable customer service and supporting Liberia’s economic development.
The Liberian government and APM Terminals signed a 25-year agreement in August of 2010 and commenced operations in February of 2011.
Adjei made the remarks at a news conference at the offices of APM Terminals in Monrovia, which he indicated that the company has actively met some of its obligations under the concession agreement, and will continue to work in line with international standards.
Adjei said the investments were quickly needed to make the port more efficient, noting that the investments were made in key areas of the port. According to him, the company has fulfilled some key commitments within the agreement, including 50 percent Liberian staffers and 50 percent expatriates.
Adjei said the company spent US$50 million on the “marginal wharf” and US$60 million on equipment, tools and “access needed to help in the operations of the terminals.”
“The Freeport of Monrovia could not achieve its objectives in the condition we met it. As part of the concession agreement, we committed to investing US$120 million for the 25-year period, but have already invested millions that indicates the company’s willingness to adhere to the agreement,” he said.
Adjei said the company continues to provide 100 percent safety of containers in the port, for which many people, especially importers, have lauded the management for the initiative.
He said APM Terminals pays a little over US$10 million to the government of Liberia – which includes royalties on the revenue received by the terminal, rent and corporate taxes – annually.
According to the APM boss, the company is committed to the enforcement of the Liberianization Policy, which calls for half of the senior management team to be Liberians by 2016 and 75 percent by 2021.
He indicated that the company currently has 226 Liberians in its employ, and an additional 98 contractors, which he said would increase based on the company’s growth in the coming years.
As part of its corporate social responsibility, he said APM Terminals continues to play an active role in giving back to the community and create a brighter future.
“The company helped the country throughout the Ebola crisis with a treatment of units and ensuring that the port is opened throughout the crisis; road safety campaigns for drivers and pedestrians in high traffic locations and educational support to schools within the port community,” Adjei said.
APM Terminals operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port and integrated inland service networks, which is uniquely positioned to help both shipping line and landside customers grow their businesses and achieve better supply chain efficiency, flexibility and dependability to compete and win in world markets, he said.
According to him, “We have a CCTV network as part of our security measures, thereby ensuring that there is adequate security coverage all over the terminal. We also have a biometric access system, which ensures that only authorized persons are allowed in and out of the facilities, all of which is intended to have a totally secure terminal.
“The company operates on 18 hectares or 80,000 square meters of storage areas, which were paved during the second phase of the project. This paved operations ground is built to withstand heavy duty equipment, because of the quality of the pavement.”
Commenting on the freeing of containers, Adjei said the concession agreement calls for importers to free their containers within 10 days or risk paying additional fees, a measure that is designed to discourage importers from using the terminal as storage ground.
“We have 75 ports around the world. It’s interesting to note that eight of these ports are new projects, while 10 ports are in various phases of expansion, including the Port of Monrovia, where the company just completed its expansion program,” he said, adding that the company also has 140 inland service organizations throughout the world.
The APM Terminals MD said the company also has four operational ports in the U.S., including Los Angeles, Port Alabama, Port Elizabeth in New Jersey and Port Miami in Florida, as well as an additional 11 in China.
Source: Liberian Observer