A US$ 1.5 billion Tema Ports expansion project is expected to take off by second quarter of 2015. This project is seeing the light of day after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ghana Ports And Habours Authority (GPHA) and Meridian Ports Services (MPS) to construct and provide basic port infrastructure such as breakwater, quay wall, terminals and dredging to adequate depths at the port among others.
The project is to support the port’s increasing capacity to handle cargo import. The Tema Port, currently handles about 70% of cargo imports.
However imports continue to increase but with little port capacity to augment the ever increasing situation.
At a press conference held at the Headquarters of the Ghana Ports And Habours Authority, Mr Richard Anamoo, Director-General of GPHA, said the expansion work would enable the port to accommodate more vessels at the berths, with a targeted length of 450 metres and a weight of 50 metres.
According to him, the agreement was signed between Meridian Ports Services (MPS) , which is one of the top container terminal operators in Africa and the GPHA and Joint Ventures of Bollore Africa Logistics and APM Terminals as principal investors.
Mr Richard Anamoo said, when the project is completed, it will position the port to prepare for the handling growth and providing a world class infrastructure to support the country’s economic growth.
He averred that the project will not only upgrade the port, but also the critical hinterland connections through an upgrade of the road network between Tema and Accra.
The Director also mentioned that, the project will create over 5000 jobs, provide superior infrastructure, modern and advanced technology able to serve larger and deeper vessels.
“It will also help in connecting Ghana to the global market and facilitate trade to enable Ghanaian companies compete for business in the most cost effective manner,” he said.
He also pointed out that, the completion of the project will attract considerable transit and transhipment volumes, as it will strengthen the port’s leading position in the sub-region.
Mr Richard Anamoo mentioned that the investment is the largest port investment in Africa, pointing out that during the construction and the expansion process, there will be the expansion of additional the Tema-Accra motorway into a 3 carriage lanes on each sides, granting easy access of cargoes into and from the port to their destinations, whilst easing the traffic within the port.
It is expected that, two berths will be completed by October 2016 paving the way for the final completion in December 2018 where, 1.40 kilometer query will be completed by the end of 2018 with a railway terminal and efficient rail and road network.
“We recognized that this project cannot succeed without an associated road network, s we are working with the Ghana Highways Authority to ensure the expansion of the Tema Motorway which is expected to start in the third quarter of 2015,” he revealed.
The project will also see the construction of a truck park. According to Mr Richard Anamoo, land had already been acquired for the purpose and that the construction of the Truck park will be done alongside the major port expansion project.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPS, Mohammed Samara, indicated that the expansion of the Tema port will act as strong economic driver for Ghana’s agenda with the sub-region, giving the assurance that MPS will build a new modern port with 4 deep water berths, breakwater and access channels that will enable the port be able to accommodate larger vessels with high capacity equipment, and said the new container terminal will have a capacity of 3.5 million TEU.
Mr Samara also said, the MPS will also undertake the development of the main Motorway.