Queen Elizabeth II Quay

Queen Elizabeth II Quay, also known as QE II Quay and by residents as the Deep Water Quay, is a locality in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It is located on a point called Fourah Point (also known variously as FarranPoint, Farren Point, and Foura Point) on the southern bank of the estuary of the Sierra Leone River between Destruction Bay and Cline Bay within the suburb of Cline Town directly to the east of central Freetown. It is the larger of two harbors within Freetown, the other harbor known as Freetown Port and is Freetown's more centrally located harbor.

Queen Elizabeth II Quay has sometimes been called the "third largest natural harbor in the world”. The government of Sierra Leone assumed management of the Quay in 1964. It decided to privatize the property in 2007, converting the port from a "service" port into a "land lord" port.

DESIGN AND HISTORY

Construction of the quay began in 1953 on what was once called Fourah Bay. Estimates in the British House of Commons in 1955 were that the quay would cost around ₤1,470,000. By 1960 the entire bay was filled in, creating a large uninhabited reclamation area to the south. The final structure is 1,067 meters (3,501 ft) end to end with a draught allowance of 30 feet (9.1 m). The Sierra Leone Railway used to have a large terminal and headquarters nearby but these were removed in the 1970s.

The quay includes six numbered berths designed to accommodate either passenger or cargo ships, and has several warehouses and extensive outdoor storage space. Repeated military invasions of Freetown during the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone Civil War resulted in significant damage to the quay's facilities in the late 1990s, including a crater within berth 5 which remained inoperable and under repair ten years later.

As of 2009 the port's stevedoring facilities include two forklifts, one "super-Reacher", four reach stackers, five German MAFI trucks (each with a carrying capacity of 50 tons), one tug master, one pilot cutter, and a fire engine. It has ship chandler facilities, but no shipyard.