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Business News Tue, 2 Aug 2016

1.5 bn Tema Port expansion doesn’t cover motorway – Minister

The Minister of Transport, Fiifi Kwetey has clarified that the 1.5 billion Tema port expansion project does not include the expansion of the Tema motorway.

“The $1.5 billion does not involve the construction of the motorway. The $1.5 billion involves only the expansion of the port,” the Minister clarified on the Citi Breakfast Show.

In 2004, the government of Ghana signed a contract with Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) to run the Tema Port in a 20-year concession agreement.

MPS is a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings Limited, which is in turn a joint venture with Bolloré Group and APM Terminals – a subsidiary of Maersk – as the two main shareholders.

The Minister of Roads and Highway, Inusah Fuseini confirmed in 2015 that the expansion of the motorway was expected to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

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Mr. Kwetey however explained on the Citi Breakfast Show that expansion had delayed because the government had to seek parliamentary approval before embarking on the Port Expansion Project.

“We were obtaining parliamentary approval in June 2016 so anybody who followed the discussion that led to obtaining parliamentary approval would clearly have known that it was not possible to get the motorway done until we get parliamentary approval.”

He further justified delays in the expansion, saying “…the whole fetish being made about the first quarter I really don’t see where it is coming from. We said that we are going to get the gas processing plant by 2012, if it does not get ready by 2012 it doesn’t mean there was a major sin committed by the government. Why? Because in projects things happen. For example, we had an intention of building the Western rail line as part of CDB facility and everything went as planned but as I am talking to you we still don’t have the Western rail line. It doesn’t mean the world has to come to an end because that is how it is around the world.”

Fiifi Kwetey confirms Paul Ansah’s position

Fiifi Kwetey’s clarification on the $1.5 billion Tema port expansion project excluding the expansion of the motorway confirms what the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Paul Ansah,said a day ago on the show.

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Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, he revealed that a Japanese entity is going to handle the construction of the proposed flyover of the Tema roundabout.

He indicated that as an interim measure, the GPHA is redesigning the Tema roundabout to allow traffic to flow better at the roundabout.

This temporary project would cost about $6 million and would be funded by MPS as a corporate social responsibility.

He explained that there are plans to enhance the railway infrastructure but the redevelopment of the Tema motorway is still being discussed and would be done under a different contract even though it is part of the larger Tema Port Expansion Project being executed by Meridian Port Services.

New timelines for the Tema Motorway

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The Minister of Roads and Highways earlier announced in Parliament that the government of Ghana is getting funding from the Japanese government to construct a modern interchange at the Tema roundabout.

Alhaji Inusah Fuseini informed members of Parliament in June 2016 that construction will begin in 2017 following assurances from the Japanese government.

The interchange, though key to the general Tema Port Expansion and related transportation system, is not part of the projects that Meridian Port Services is executing under the 35 years concession agreement.

Source: citifmonline.com