Business News of 2014-05-29

GPHA contructs cruise terminal in Tema Port

Traders who ply the subregion especially the Accra-Lagos route will soon heave a sigh of relief as the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) readies itself for the construction of a cruise terminal in the port of Tema.

This is part of the Authority’s determination to support the tourism industry as the Authority receives not less than 500 visitors including schools, institutions of higher learning, professional institutions, social entities and various groups in the sub region including delegations from competing ports.

Marketing and Public relations manager of the Port of Tema, Paul Asare Ansah breaking the news of the construction of the cruise terminal during an encounter with the media on Monday, noted that the prospects of such a project was very bright as some private companies have already shown keen interest in investing in the project and will start with the sub regional service of Accra-Lagos service.

This will partly resolve the transportation challenges and difficulties that traders who ply this route face at the borders and other points of entry.

According to Mr. Asare Ansah, the cruise terminal would serve as the catalyst or propellant that will position the GPHA to drive and help develop that business.

So far, 16 bids have been received as of the close of the deadline calling for the expression of interest from potential investors for the development of a container terminal, a ro-ro terminal and the cruise terminal, with the number expected to whittle down after a few eligible and credible companies are shortlisted.

"As I indicated we have just received the response to the request for expression of interest, we are shortlisting and we will invite the bids and am sure in the next 4 years we should expect to see this terminal well positioned."

He noted that the port management was positioning itself to respond to the demands of the growing economy, a factor that has culminated in the desire to put in place all these structures and also to consolidate the Authority’s position as the trade and logistics hub in the sub region.

‘’The expansion project is on course, the bulk terminal which we are developing, the bulk jetty is about 80 percent complete, we have increased capacity from two berthing facilities to four and that is in response to the growing estate development industry, so the port management is positioning itself to respond to the demands of the growing economy’’ he opined.

On the issue of dredging the Tema Port, Mr. Asare Ansah noted that the exercise was completed in April and has significantly enhanced the capacity of the port to handle more cargo and more vessels.

According to him, the incidence of vessels having to queue at the anchorage has become a thing of the past as port authorities adopted the rationalisation of the berthing facility where a vessel is lightened and shifted to a shallower berthing facility to make room for another vessel to berth at the first facility, culminating in a reduction in waiting time.

The berthing facility according to him has been deepened from 9 meters to 10 meters and the port he explained, therefore, currently has two berths with 10 meter draughts whiles the remaining ones have 9 meter draughts, adding that it represents a very significant improvement in the 50 year lifespan of the port.

Source: Maritime & Transport Digest
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