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Freeport of Monrovia is the main commercial port facility in the West African nation of Liberiamarker. The port was artificially created on Bushrod Islandmarker near Monroviamarker in 1948. The port facility contains four piers and one main wharf with four berth, with three of the four berths in operation. A capsized vessel, M/V Torm Alexandra, blocks the fourth berth. The port also has tanker facilities and a fishery pier. The National Port Authority operates the port.

History

As early as 1850, seagoing ships began exporting palm oil from a port at Monrovia. During World War II United States military forces landed in Liberia to ensure the flow of rubber exports for use in wartime materials. These forces improved the port facilities in Monrovia and built an artificial harbor with two breakwaters. In 1948, this new 750 acres bay opened.

The national government took over the port from a U.S. company in 1971 and created the National Port Authority to operate the facility. A strike in 1981 crippled the port for a month before the President of Liberia dismissed the strikers. In 1990, during the First Liberian Civil War then President Samuel Doe was captured at the port by Prince Y. Johnson and later executed elsewhere.

In 1995, the M/V Mush sank after being overloaded and hindered port traffic until removed in 1998. On July 25, 2001, the M/V Torm Alexandra sunk at the port, blocking one of the berths. After years of failed efforts to remove the ship, it was announced in October 2008 that the United States government would remove the vessel. In 2002, the port authority completed dredging the harbor's entrance to allow for second and third generation vessels to visit the port.

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