Vt180-million-worth of container handling equipment has arrived, ready to be used at Vanuatu’s main wharf in the Capital, Port Vila.
The equipment funded by JICA, is part of the Lapetasi Multi-Purpose Wharf project with New Zealand Company, Portstar Forklifts Ltd as the supplier.
They comprise two 45-tonnes full reach stackers, two 10-tonnes empty reach stackers, as well as spare parts and tyres, and will go a long way to assisting Ifira Ports Development Services (IPDS) ensure maximization of limited space at the wharf site.
Present onsite on Tuesday 25th October for the unveiling was the Minister for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Jotham Napat, as well as government officials, IPDS staff and landowners.
General Manager of IPDS Russell Mitchell stated that the new machines are very versatile and can accommodate all the tasks required in an International Container terminal and will obviously enhance IPDS capacity to move and deliver containers in a professional and safe operation.
Training is comprehensive and once the operators are experienced, operational productivity will be significantly enhanced.
Before that, Ifira Wharf and Stevedoring only had one forklift which was often over-worked, and mostly stacked containers horizontally.
Container handling at the country’s main port is now bound to be greatly improved.
With construction now in progress at the new Lapetasi multi-purpose wharf, better container management arrangements are a critically important, to accommodate the construction works and ensure the highest possible standards of safety are maintained.
IPDS should now be able to stack more containers – at least five high, with the new reach stackers.
Portstar Forklifts successfully won the tender to supply the container handling equipment after going through government approved tendering process.
A contract agreement for the supply of the equipment was signed in February this year.