Nigeria: Bright Future for APM Terminals Apapa
Five new Eco-RTGs (Rubber-Tire Gantry Cranes) are expected for delivery within the next month at APM Terminals Apapa as part of the third phase of a $135 million terminal upgrade announced in February.
The remaining five Eco-RTGs will be delivered in November enabling the terminal to convert from the use of reach stackers to the safer and more efficient RTG operation. The container stacking area is also being increased by 300,000 square meters (74 acres) as West Africa’s busiest container terminal, which handled 618,000 TEUs in 2012, prepares for the expected growth of Africa’s largest population, and third-largest economy.
The 10 advanced eco-RTGs are being manufactured by Finnish-based Konecranes in China, and are equipped with a laser stack profiling system which reduces the risk of loaded containers being knocked off of stacks. These RTGs will be among the very first in the world to offer this technology.
“This is a very exciting development for the terminal and for the Nigerian port industry, as we will be setting a new standard in safety and sustainable terminal operations in Africa” said APM Terminals Apapa Managing Director, Dallas Hampton.
The eco-RTGs will be powered by diesel engines, but with an advanced system which reduces fuel consumption by as much as 40% compared with conventional diesel RTGs. The RTGs will replace 22 reach stackers now in service, though five will remain at the terminal for use with rail movements. RTGs burn 30% less fuel than reach stackers, so the savings in both fuel and reduced emissions will be significant. RTG operators are being trained at APM Terminals Apapa’s in-house RTG simulator.
The conversion of the yard to RTGs will increase the terminal’s annual container throughput capacity to 1.2 million TEUs and be sufficient to handle anticipated Nigerian container trade growth until the proposed APM Terminals facility at Badagry becomes operational. The recent investment, which will include new building construction, rail sidings and lighting, will bring the total investment in Apapa to $330 million since APM Terminals assumed control of the facility in 2006.
“The increase in capacity – in tandem with an increase in safety, and a decrease in CO2 and other emissions associated with terminal operations is a blueprint for the rest of Africa,” noted Mr. Hampton.
Press Release, July 25, 2013