The Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) has announced the delivery of ship-to-shore cranes and rubber tyre gantries cranes at the Lekki port.

This was disclosed on Friday by Mohammad Bello-Koko, managing director, NPA in Lagos, while receiving the marine vessel ‘Zhen Hua 28,’ the heavy-lift carrier that shipped the equipment from Shanghai.

A ship-to-shore (STS) crane is a type of large dockside gantry crane found at container terminals for loading and unloading intermodal containers from container ships.

STS container cranes are basically gantry-type cranes that are used to load and unload containers from ship to dock or vice versa; while a rubber-tyred (RTGs) gantry crane or sometimes transtainer, is a wheeled mobile gantry crane operated to ground or stack intermodal containers.

Bello-Koko said the port took delivery of three STS cranes and 10 RTG cranes.

He also said the successful delivery of these equipments are critical for the Lekki deep seaport to begin operations before the end of the year 2022 and “is a demonstration of our readiness to take trade facilitation a notch higher”.

“For us at the Nigerian Ports Authority, the coming on stream of Lekki symbolizes a lot of positives. Apart from being Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, Lekki port will also be the first fully automated port at take-off,” he said.

“This provides an insight into the path we are already toeing as a management team to govern the operationalisation of not just the forthcoming Badagry, Ibom, and Bonny Deep Seaports, but also of the reconstruction of the aged Tin-Can port, where work is set to commence once we secure the necessary approvals from the federal ministry of transportation and federal executive council (FEC) respectively.

“The automation remains the most veritable tool for assuring port efficiency, and as most of us are aware, the NPA is working assiduously under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization to deploy the Port Community System (PCS), which will enable us to respond squarely to the dictates of global trade facilitation and optimize the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to which Nigeria is signatory.

“In this first phase, the port has a natural depth of 16.5 metres, quay length of 680 metres, breakwater of 1.909 metres, two container berths, and marine services jetty to handle containers as well as liquid and dry bulk, Lekki Deep Seaport is indeed equipped to improve Nigeria’s fortunes as far as maritime trade is concerned.”

Bello-Koko added that the project would not have been possible without the tremendous backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal ministry of transportation, “who have over the time played a key role from the initial construction stage and also granted fast-tracked approval for this historic exercise”.