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Maersk Group Celebrates 25 Years Of Contribution To Ghana’s Economic Growth   
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President Mahama interacts with the Maersk Group
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Maersk Group, a worldwide conglomerate that operates in some 130 countries, involved in a wide range of activities in the shipping, logistics, and the oil and gas industries, has expressed its interest to be a long term partner in Ghana and to continue to make investments in Ghana.

In his second visit to Ghana in less than 2 years, the Maersk Group Chief Executive Officer Nils S. Andersen revealed that Maersk is interested in playing an active role in the future growth of Ghana through investments in trade, infrastructure and energy.

Maersk, through its subsidiary APM Terminals, is operating the current containers terminal Meridian Port Services (MPS) in Tema in conjunction with partners. APM Terminals has now joined forces with its partners in MPS to investment some $1.5billion in expanding the Port of Tema.

“Together with our partners we have committed $1.5billion dollars to the expansion of the port in Tema which would create probably the largest and most modern terminal in the sub Saharan Africa.

This will enable Ghana's trade for the coming decades, and support more efficient flows of exports as well as imports” Mr. Andersen said.

According to him, plans are far advanced for the project to kick-start and at the moment the design and tender for the construction of the new port is being finalized.

“We are still waiting for the last approval of the final agreement with the authorities, but we have progressed quite far and we are very enthusiastic about the opportunities,” he said.

Speaking in an exclusive interview, Nils Andersen said before any physical work will commence, “We first have to sign the contracts for the construction and in order to do that we are awaiting the final smaller details in the Public/Private Concession agreement with the government. We hope that can happen quickly, so construction can start quickly.”

He said the construction of a new container terminal as part of the Tema Port expansion project will ensure a seamless transfer from the old container terminal to the new container terminal in the future to the benefit of the country.

The Group CEO said there is no doubt about the tremendous importance the Tema Port expansion would bring to Ghana.

“It will enable the economy and employment and it will allow the country to export and import larger quantities of goods which is very important for securing growth in a country like Ghana. So the port project itself is very important.

“Together with our partners we also have a principle agreement with the government to expand the road from Tema to Accra which will massively improve the infrastructure and logistic efficiency between the Port and the main city.

This comes on top of the $1.5billion dollars project so all in all, it is a massive project that will really improve the logistic efficiency of the country,” he said.

Nils S. Andersen described Maersk Line’s 25-year-partnership with Ghana as very positive and productive one hence, the company intends to invest more in the country.  

“Ghana is important to the Maersk Group. Ghana represents 5 percent of Maersk Line’s business in Africa which is quite a lot and it’s a country where we want to invest more.”

He said the reason for his visit is to strengthen the 25-year tie with the country and the Maersk Group.

“The specific reason for my visit is to celebrate the 25-year-anniversary and during that time we have developed a number of partnerships in the country, and we found it to be a good opportunity to come and celebrate that and look into the future,” he averred.

Plans for more offshore oil and gas service activities

Nils Andersen revealed that the Maersk Group has a very large drill ship working offshore on the oil fields of ENI, describing the operations which started last year as ahead of schedule and steadily progressing.

He said the Group would like to offer more offshore equipment and offshore services. “There is a number of good oil companies operating in Ghana and we have very good drilling exploration platforms as well as supply vessels available for servicing so we are looking at further opportunities.”

In connection to port activities, Nils Andersen said “we also like to offer the services of the largest tugboat operator in the world, Svitzer, which is also part of the Maersk Group.

So Ghana is one of the countries in the world were we really try to get as many businesses as possible engaged, in order to make sure that we service all parts of the economy,” says the CEO heading up the Maersk Group with a workforce of over 88,000 employees.

Ghana open economy

Ghana, according to him, is an open economy and Ghanaians are privileged with a well-functioning democracy.

He commended Ghana for embracing Public/Private Concession in Tema port more than ten years ago, and this led to the opening of a modern container terminal MPS in 2007. Since then, container volumes have almost tripled in terms of trade in and out of the country.

“So I think Ghana has embraced globalization and containerization very well, and I think Ghana is doing very well within these sectors” he noted.

 “Our shipping lines Maersk Line and Safmarine handle about 1/3 of all the export cargo out of Ghana, and we are the largest carrier of an important product out of Ghana which is cocoa beans, so we are proud of being part of the process, because we are serving the needs of the country,” Nils S. Andersen observed.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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