GMC unveils vessel to meet growing traffic
The expansion of the Takoradi port has brought in its wake ventures introduced by stakeholders in the maritime and shipping industry striving to achieve maritime operational efficiency to ensure increased revenue generation.
One of such stakeholders is the Ghana Manganese Company Limited (GMC), which has partnered the Shipping Management and Transport Limited (SMT), a Dutch shipping company, to acquire a new Trans shipment vessel, the MV GDANSK for shipment of cargo on turnaround time.
At an unveiling ceremony of the vessel at the Takoradi Port on Thursday, Mr Jurgen Eingenaal, Managing Director of the GMC said the vessel would be kept 3.5 nautical miles safe from all port navigational approaches while smaller vessels would be used to feed or load it.
Mr Eingenaal said the new service would go a long way to enhance operational efficiency of GMC as its cargo thru-put volume would be increased, maximize the use of available facilities, create job opportunities as well as increase revenue for the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the nation as a whole.
According to him, in fulfillment of the local content policy, the SMT would employ some Ghanaian seafarers and graduate cadets from the Maritime University.
He noted that, over the last six years, manganese exports have increased by 49 percent, from 1,022,899mt to 2,000,000mt in 2013, describing it as the highest ever since the port business started in 1928.
In an address, Mr Alfred Ekow Gyan, Deputy Western Regional Minister said the pressing trade and economic demand of the ever growing international market can no longer be sustained at water depths that cannot meet bigger vessels.
To this end, the government supports any specialized form of shipment innovation to be able to transact business, as the port expands its operation to meet the international maritime standards.
Government therefore would continue to create the enabling environment to support the private sector for investment gains, he said, adding that, “the shipping community is a crucial development partner that our government cherishes”.
Captain James Owusu Koranteng, Director of the Takoradi Port, called for collective efforts of all stakeholders and service providers in the maritime industry to ensure operational efficiency.
He expressed the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) preparedness to create a congenial atmosphere in areas of security, safety, environmental, fiscal and social aspect for the GMC to operate and strive as the two institutions have since 1928 collaborated to facilitate the exports of manganese ore. The Takoradi Port Director appealed to the fishermen to respect the maritime law by not fishing closer to the facility or use light for their expedition.