Business News of Mon, 15 Apr 20193

Tema Port expansion project will boost Ghana’s investment potential – MPS CEO

MPS Tema MPS anticipates an overall positive development for the shipping and logistics community in Ghana

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The Diplomatic Corps in Ghana paid a visit to Meridian Port Services (MPS) at the Port of Tema.

Led by The Ambassador of the Republic of Colombia, Her Excellency Claudia Turbay Quintero, the delegation included the heads of the diplomatic representation of Australia, Benin, Brazil, Colombia, Czech Republic, Iran, Israel, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Namibia, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among others.

The CEO of MPS, Mohamed Samara, welcomed the Diplomatic Corps delegation and took them through a comprehensive presentation about the background, present and future outlook of MPS.

The presentation revealed that over the years the container terminal utilization increased whereby MPS continued to complement the country’s trade volume growth with investments in equipment and technology to boost the Port’s handling capacity. Also, the displayed data exhibited that MPS is the region’s most efficient Container Terminal.

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MPS provides the shipping lines with a Fixed Berthing Window where vessels are Berthed and Operated on arrival at the highest discharge/load productivity levels with real-time electronic data interchange using world-class Terminal Operating System (Navis-4). He further reflected on MPS endeavours to accommodate larger vessels and improve cargo handling services with an increased port capacity, safety and efficiency.

The CEO of MPS also articulated the vision of Ghana as a cutting-edge nation and thriving to become a world-class actor through MPS shareholders backed a syndication of project finance led by the IFC who are on a mission to deliver world-class maritime efficiency and become the first port of call in Africa and a hub for the region and beyond.

He stated “We are creating new trade, connectivity and routes to new markets in West Africa. Basically, we are adding value to the lines, exporters & importers, the region and overall to the country”.

He also revealed that several shipping lines are already getting ready to jump unto the opportunity that this massive project has to offer.

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“One of the world’s five largest liner shipping companies has taken the lead to announce their intention to create new direct service lines to West Africa with Tema as the first port of call and the home hub for the entire region,” said Mr Samara

The Port Project Director, Mark Nolet, updated the audience on the Project Status and emphasized on the high level of security features that had been deployed in the terminal.

He stated that “the new terminal comes with Optical Character Recognition Technology, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags and high-powered Scanners to monitor and record the movement of trucks and containers into and out of the terminal. This will safeguard cargo and prevent unusual occurrences leading to loss of goods. It will also provide the Customs and other security agencies with an accurate database of all trucks and cargo that passes through the port when the need arises for further probe.”

The Head of Business Transition, Cyrille Lemee, stated that the business transition was progressing smoothly with training on-going to synergize the people, systems and equipment to ensure a proper interplay when the terminal goes live on June 28th 2019.

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“For us, it is important for these different components to work well together as part of our efficiency drive, it will start soon by pre-registering all truck and drivers. We are introducing, the first time in Ghana, the Truck Appointment System (TAS). With this, the pre-registered truck drivers can book in our online TAS an appointment to drop off or pick up containers in our terminal. It will simplify business and convenient the drivers. This will save the trucking companies cost and increase their productivity. It will also reduce congestion on our roads and contribute to road safety around the port” Mr Lemee said.

With the opening of the additional port facility, MPS foresees an increase in volumes as well as a potential for transhipment in Tema.

Besides the direct job increases in MPS, this will, as in many other locations in the world where hubs are located, enable the development of logistics services as well as industrial areas.

As such MPS anticipates an overall positive development for the shipping and logistics community in Ghana and in Tema specifically, whereby new opportunities are available for the current and new operators to provide value-added services. This will support long term sustainable economic growth and create further job increases.

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The Diplomatic Corps were taken around the Tema Port Expansion Project to inspect the gigantic marine construction works and experience the performance of the massive Gantry Cranes which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

Many of Their Excellencies (Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chargé d’Affaires) concluded that the new facilities at the Tema Port are indeed a product that held significant value and will bridge trade with all of their countries and West Africa.

Her Excellency, Ambassador Quintero, described the Tema Port Expansion project as a further boost to the investment potentials of Ghana. She noted that MPS was making an unprecedented economic development which will have a positive impact on trade and industries and creating numerous opportunities for investors.

The CEO of MPS conveyed the appreciation of the MPS management team to have had the opportunity to interact with the Diplomatic Corps.

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