Cargo Volumes Through Liberia's Monrovia Port Doubled in 2012
Photo: The Martin, a World Food Programme ship unloads pallets of high energy biscuits at the Freeport of Monrovia.
Volumes of cargo passing through the port of Monrovia doubled last year after work to expand the terminal led to a jump in the number of ships docking there, the port's manager told Reuters.
The port is managed by APM Terminals, a division of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, which has invested $50 million in improving the site since it entered into an agreement with the government in 2010, the manager, Matilda Parker, said.
The rapid increase in activity at the port underscores how Liberia has recovered in the decade since a 14-year on-off civil war ended in 2003. The expansion of iron ore mining is due to generate a further jump in port traffic.
Parker said the dredging of the port and expansion of terminal had lured in more ships, boosting revenue last year by 52 percent to $26 million.
Volumes of cargo more than doubled in 2012 to 4.735 million tonnes from 2.316 million tonnes in 2011, Parker said.
APM is due to manage the port for the next 25 years.
ArcelorMittal, the world's top steel maker, is currently shipping iron ore out of the eastern port of Buchanan.
But mining by China Union and Sesa Goa Ltd will see iron ore pass through the port of Monrovia this year.
Reporting by Alphonso Toweh; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Daniel Flynn and David Evans (C) Reuters 2013.