One of the biggest gearless Maersk Line vessels has successfully berthed at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), Onne Port complex in Rivers State.
Maersk Line is, however, a Danish international container shipping company and the largest operating subsidiary of the Maersk Group, a Danish business conglomerate.
It is the world’s largest container shipping company by both fleet size and cargo capacity, serving 374 offices in 116 countries, and employing around 31,600, of which 7,000 are shipping crew and 24,600 processing personnel.
Maersk Line operates over 786 vessels and has a capacity of 4.1 million TEU. The company was founded in 1928.
However, the vessel, which successfully berthed at the Onne Port is 300 metres in length overall and 48 metres width arrived and berthed successfully by 4.20 pm Nigerian time.
Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, represented by the Asst. General Manager Harbours, Captain Uduiguomen Eboreime who received the vessel expressed happiness over the safe arrival of the ‘Maersk Stadelhorn Vessel’ at Onne Port.
She said the berthing of the ship was a culmination of a five-day preparation for the arrival of the vessel from Cotonou, Benin Republic which she described as the first of its kind of such a gearless vessel of 9,971 capacity to berth at any Nigerian ports.
Maersk Line Port Captain Kikelomo Abiola Cudjoe who gave details of the vessel on behalf of her organization stated that the vessel has a total draught of 11.2 metres, while the vessel capacity stood at 9,971( TEUs ).
Onne Port Manager, Alhasssan Ismaila Abubakar says the arrival of the vessel is a milestone attained by NPA, and expressed appreciation to the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman for all the support and assistance given to Onne port Complex in making the arrival of the vessel possible.
The Port Manager stated that the vessel was brought in from Fairway Buoy Bonny by NPA’s three Pilots who are well trained on pilotage of such vessels.
“We deployed 3 TUG Boats with 3 Pilots from Onne Port Complex, and for us, the successful arrival of this vessel has showcased the expertise of NPA’s Ports Operations”, he said.
Abubakar adds that the arrival of the vessel showed that NPA is fully equipped, noting that shippers and other maritime stakeholders in the Eastern Zone and those from the Northern axis will now have the option to make choices especially as Lagos port is now saddled with a lot of activities which has resulted in congestion.
The Country Manager of A P Molleer and also the Board Chairman of West African Container Terminal (WACT) Klaus Holman Laursen, applauded the support and Cooperation between Nigerian Ports Authority and other elements, which according to him that made the safe arrival and berthing possible, describing it as a big moment for all the stakeholders.
The vessel – ‘Maersk Stadelhorn’ which is a flagship from Singapore, manufactured in 2015, and sailed from Cotonou Port in Benin Republic to Onne Port in Nigeria was successfully piloted by Captain Marvin Omovbude, an Asst Harbour Master Onne Port, who led other Pilots – Ezra Yashiyi Yakubu and Abdulahi Sarki.
The Vessel, Omovbude said, arrived safely without any Security Challenges of any type, indicating that Security status of Onne Channel has improved tremendously, including the Channel to cater for such large, modern vessels.
In recent times, the Executive Management of Nigerian Ports Authority led by Hadiza Bala Usman has been implementing deliberate policies to promote the patronage of the Eastern Ports by giving incentives and provision of Port facilities and dredging of the channels to accommodate bigger vessels.