The ports on the Niger River in Nigeria are receiving attention in line with Nigerian government policy. A program of dredging and port refurbishment has led to the Onitsha River Port being refurbished and up-graded during the last year, adding warehousing, port accommodation, storage space and cranes in the shape of 2 Liebherr Harbour Mobile Cranes type LHM 180. These machines have a maximum lifting capacity of 64 tons and a maximum outreach of 35m The cranes will be used to handle a wide variety of break bulk cargoes, including iron billets for the steel mills, building and construction materials, spare parts, wine and spirits, tyres, cements, cars and the occasional container, an area where growth is expected. The cranes can also be adapted for bulk handling if needed.
The project was coordinated and carried out by Inter-Bau Construction Ltd, a well known Construction company in Nigeria. Having local offices and workshops meant manpower and equipment were readily available. Sir Nath Okechukwu, the owner and Chairman of the group, said, “Building something like a river port for the benefit of the local community gave me great pleasure. Working with international companies such as Liebherr, assisted us in the equipment selection part of the task, and we hope to work with them again on future projects.” Engr. Emmanuel Aguda, Resident Engineer from the National Inland Waterways Authority said, “The cranes give us great flexibility, allowing project cargo up to 64 tonnes, a variety of break bulk cargoes and even use of a motor grab for bulks later. They can also transit to all areas of the port.”