Major expansion at Nieuwe Haven facility
- Container yard space expansion of 20,0002m
- Container handling capability increased
- New port IT system to be acquired
2016, February 1: The year just ended (2015) saw significant improvement at Suriname’s main port complex at Paramaribo. The Suriname Port Management Company (N.V. Havenbeheer Suriname) completed a major expansion of its Nieuwe Haven facility, bringing into service an additional 20,000 square metres of new container yard space.
The port also increased its container handling capability during the year, taking possession of a Liebherr LHM 280 harbour crane (84-ton lift capacity). This unit raised the number of harbour cranes at the Nieuwe Haven port to four. Together with the three Gottwald mobile harbour cranes, in operation since 2010, the new crane gives Paramaribo a much higher level of dependability and ship-handling capability.
The port management company also took initiatives to upgrade its information technology (IT). Experion Global, (a software products and services firm headquartered in India), was contracted to implement a new project for a port IT system to support the work of the port management company and to establish capability for electronic exchange of trade-related documents and information. This new capability was envisioned as the foundation for an effective port community system that will ensure an efficient flow of data between public and private stakeholders within and outside the port.
N.V. Havenbeheer Suriname decided to take a different approach in order to develop the potential market for the country’s bulk exports, especially round logs, wood products, natural stone and boulders. In this regard, the port is working towards establishing a dedicated mooring facility in the south of the Nieuwe Haven terminal.
N.V. Havenbeheer Suriname established contractual relationships with a number of suppliers of auxiliary services to ships during 2015. In this regard, the port now has additional capabilities, through its contractors, to deliver: port reception services (waste management, for example), potable water, ship supplies, bunkering services, certified inspection, and repair and maintenance of containers. It also established an “empty depot.”
The progress made in 2015 reflects a continuation of initiatives and high levels of customer service in 2014 that earned the port of Paramaribo’s Nieuwe Haven terminal the Caribbean Shipping Association’s award for Best Multipurpose Terminal.
Plans for the current year, 2016, included maintenance dredging alongside the Nieuwe Haven quay; construction of a special mooring facility for the development of the country’s bulk exports trade and to accommodate services in support of offshore oil exploration activities. Plans were also in the making for development of an industrial zone. Land (11 hectares), part of the Nieuwe Haven premises, is available for the development of export-related industries. In this regard, the port is positioning itself to support the development initiatives of the Surinamese government.
“There is expertise within our port management to support the development of the industrial function of the port according to the plans and objectives of the Surinamese government,” stated Andreas Talea, Managing Director of the Suriname Port Management Company.
Upgrades to and expansion of the reefer station, which started in 2014, were slated for completion in April 2016. There were also plans for upgrading storage at the Port of Nieuw Nickerie in the west of Suriname. Presently that facility is of little support for economic development in that part of the country and therefore plans include expanding accessibility via the Nickerie River to support growth and development of the country’s agricultural, forestry and mining sectors.
Although there was a 27% increase in the number of general cargo ships handled at the port in 2015 (70 as compared with 55 in 2014), the year showed a decline in total vessel calls of just under 16%, from 1,116 arrivals in 2014 to 941. Arrival of container ships declined by only 7%, (297 last year, 319 in 2014) while arrivals of schooners and bunker ships declined by over 30% in 2015.