Business News of 2014-08-26

Ports on course to handle 1m containers

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) could handle a combined container capacity of one million Twenty-Equivalent Units (TEUs) by close of the year at the Tema and Takoradi ports, with best estimates showing the figure could double by 2028, Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Paul Ansah-Asare has disclosed to the B&FT.

The bright prospects, he said, are due to the consistent surge in container traffic to the two ports over the last four years and ongoing expansion projects which are expected to create space for more vessels to call. Expansion activities at the ports include dredging of new drafts from the current 12 metres to 16 metres to accommodate large vessels.

According to figures from GPHA, the two seaports handled container capacity worth a total of 894,362 TEUs in 2013 – the Tema port handled 841,989 TEUs while the Takoradi port handled 52,373 TEUs.

By the end of the first quarter of this year, the two ports had handled 214,333 TEUs, which was a 2.7 percent decline over the 2013 figure of 220,436 TEUs within the same period statistics from the Ministry of Transport showed.

“GPHA is close to handling about one million TEUs currently, with best estimates showing that we could handle two million TEUs by 2028,” said Mr. Ansah-Asare.

“We are hopeful that the ongoing expansion project will enable the ports accommodate the increasing surge in container and other cargo traffic. With the dredging of new draft areas to a depth of 16 metres from the current 12 metres, we can have more vessels, especially large and modern ones, calling at the ports.”

He said GPHA is aggressively engaged in preliminary works leading to the start of the second phase of the Tema port expansion project in 2015.

GPHA has already received technical and financial proposals valued at between US$400million-US$1.5 billion from seven multinational firms selected out of a total of 50 bids received.

Mr. Ansah-Asare said GPHA is also currently evaluating 16 bids that have been received from prospective port operators for the construction of three terminals – a cruise terminal, container terminal and Ro-Ro terminal – as part of the second phase of the port’s expansion.

Ongoing expansion works at Tema comprise the construction of a bulk cargo-handling jetty, construction of breakwaters, development of quay aprons and expansion of utilities and road networks.

The cruise terminal to be built will handle passenger vessels and the Ro-Ro terminal will accommodate wheeled cargoes.

For the Takoradi port, extension of the breakwater by 1.15 kilometres to protect the expanded area of the basin and enhance safe operations is about 90 percent completed.

Phase two works, comprising dredging of berths and basin to 16 metres and reclamation of the bulk ore terminal area, are expected to start by October this year.

Source: BFT
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