Productivity at International Container Terminal Services Inc’s (ICTSI) new $100m container and general cargo terminal in the Democratic Republic of Congo is poised to surge after the delivery of the first of two mobile cranes.
Delivered on board BBC Chartering’s multipurpose heavylifter vessel Oder, the Terex Model 5 crane has been described as a “game changer” for the ICTSI-operated Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT) 148km up the Congo River.
With a working radius of up to 51m, the Terex 5 is designed to serve Panamax class container ships in the DR Congo’s chief sea port.
Coupled with its sister unit which is scheduled to arrive next month, the cranes will operate with an automatic twin-lift spreader (60 tons in twin lift and 50 tons in single lift) and will also provide a heavy lift capability of 125 tons at an outreach of 18m.
The cranes complement reach stackers and front loaders already in operation at MGT which has employed Navis N4 technology for the management of vessel loading/unloading and terminal operations.
“This new unit is a game changer,” said MGT CEO, Tim Vancampen.
“It is the first unit of its kind in Matadi and will deliver high performance and faster vessel turnaround times. With the arrival of the second unit, MGT will also be able to give reliable service to larger gearless vessels.”
MGT is a joint venture company between ICTSI, the Ledya Group and SCTP SA. Situated on the left bank of the Congo River just 8km before rapids make the river impassable, the terminal serves an extensive hinterland including the capital city of Kinshasa, the largest city in Central Africa.
MGT commenced operations this month with one berth of 12m depth allowing it to handle Panamax, Handymax and Wafmax vessels. A second berth, taking total quay length to 350 metres is due on stream in November with 175,000 TEU of container capacity at the 9ha terminal which incorporates 6ha of yard.
An additional 350 metres of quay line and supporting yard will be added if demand dictates expansion. As such, ICTSI is investigating the environmental and economic impact of dredging the mainly sand bottom river to allow larger vessels.
ICTSI operates 30 terminals in 21 countries, many of them in some of the world’s most geopolitically challenging areas and serving extended hinterlands including cross border.
Civil war and corruption, fuelled by vast mineral riches and political unrest, has coloured DR Congo’s recent history. “Africa’s World War”, as it is known, has claimed up to 6m lives according to the BCC “either as a direct result of fighting or because of disease and malnutrition.”
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