The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has secured funding for the expansion of the Tema Port.
The $1.5 billion project, which will take four years to complete, will involve the building of four deep water berths and an access channel to accommodate larger vessels with high capacity equipment.
This will create the largest cargo port in West Africa, and one of the best in Africa, with a capacity of 3.5 million 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) per annum.
Container traffic is measured in TEU. Currently, the Tema Port has a capacity of about 1 million TEUs.
A road component of the project will see the Accra-Tema Motorway expanded to three lanes in each direction to facilitate easy access to the port.
A group of container terminal operators led by Meridian Port Services (MPS), one of the top container terminal operators in Africa, is funding the project under a public-private-partnership (PPP) programme.
The other investors include APM Terminals, one of the world's largest port and terminal operators based in the Netherlands, and its partners, Bolloré Africa Logistics, Africa's leading integrated logistics network.
A delegation of the participating entities was at the residence of President John Dramani Mahama in Accra last Saturday to brief him on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was signed between the GPHA and the partners a day earlier for the project to commence early next year.
The delegation included Mr Mohammed Samara, the Chief Executive Officer of MPS; Alhaji Asoma Banda, the Chairman of the Board of MPS, and Dr Richard Anamoo, the Director General of GPHA.
President Mahama congratulated all the players on the major breakthrough, saying that it marked a significant point to transform the Tema Port to a world-class facility.
The growth in economic activity and increasing volumes of commodity exports have resulted in congestion at the Tema Port.
Consequently, the GPHA took steps to expand the facility to enable it to handle the high demands.
Officials said the construction phase, which would start early next year, would create about 5,000 jobs.
When completed, the project will also connect Ghana to the global market and facilitate trade, as well position the Ghanaian to compete for business.
Besides, the project will enable the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to have a high level of control over cargo revenue.
President Mahama said the huge investment was a testimony of the positive results of the government's investment drive.
He said the Tema Port occupied a very strategic position in national development and nothing would be left to chance to bring it to acceptable shape.
The President mentioned the efforts the government was making to develop the Eastern railway line to facilitate the shipment of goods from Tema to Kumasi.
Alhaji Banda said he was extremely proud to be associated with the project which would transform the Tema Port as an economic driver not only for the country but the sub-region.
The expansion works, he said, fitted well into the government's Better Ghana Agenda.
Alhaji Banda said sound strategic investment was a prerequisite for accelerated development, adding that Ghana was on the path to progress.
Mr Samara said MPS had invested heavily in terminal infrastructure at Tema in the past and the latest one gave credence to the company's determination to see the best for the port and Ghana.
Such expansion programmes, he said, resulted in delivery efficiency levels for shippers.
Source: Daily Graphic
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