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Sierra Leone: Bollore upgrades with OSCAR system

OSCAIn a bid to upgrade the Freetown Terminal to meet internationally accepted standards the French Based Company Bollore has introduced an OSCAR automated system for container handling at the Freetown Terminal.
The system is aimed at improving container handling at the Freetown Terminal to ensure effective delivery of containers at drastically reduced time.
The system is designed in such a way that it cannot be bye -passed as all containers at the Terminal are computerized and only complete documentation can access them.
The Freetown Terminal has been improved to meet internationally accepted standards according to Maritime regulations.
The initiatives by the Government of Sierra Leone to privatize the ports have benefited the country with many modern infrastructures.
Financially, as of March 2011 to date the Freetown Terminal operated by French based company Bollore has paid taxes to the government to the tune of Le31billion.
Concession fees for the same period amounts to Le46, 996,689 while monies paid to the Sierra Leone Ports Authority (SLPA) for 2,165 retrenched staff amount to Le29b.
The perennial hassle and pilfering of containers at the Freetown Terminal have reduced significantly and problems amongst clearing and forwarding agents and truck drivers have also been addressed.
AbubakarrSesay Deputy Chief of Operations at the Freetown Terminal has a computer at his desk with a complete yard plan of the Terminal through reliable and secure software called Psion Teklogik, which is internationally used at ports.
He said the automated system serves as an interface between the Terminal and the vessels, “we can monitor the movement of imported and empty containers at the Freetown Terminal through my computer,” he assured.
He also said that all the plug-ins for refrigerated containers specially meant for perishable goods are also in the system.
The OSCAR automated system Sesay said also reduces corruption and preferential treatments in container handling at the ports.
“We only release containers after all the processes are completed by the customer and we deliver containers within minutes as we operate on 24hrs basis at the Freetown Terminal, he said.
The Deputy General Manager of the Freetown Terminal Bertrand Kerguelen has said the Freetown Terminal has been upgraded to meet internationally accepted standards with two mobile harbor cranes with a life time capacity of handling two 20ft containers at the same time.
The Deputy General Manager said the Freetown Terminal now operates a fully computerized system with many reach stackers and front loaders, the company has also procured more machinery which is expected to arrive before the end of the year
He added that the Freetown Terminal has paved 34,000 sqm, whilst pavement of the balance 20,000 sqm is also nearing completion.When finished the terminal is expected to handle around three thousand imported containers and two thousand empty containers.
The company has also constructed a new parking pavement for empty containers and trucks while a decent toilet and shower facility has also been constructed for workers within the terminal.

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