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Business News Thu, 19 Jun 1997

Tema, Takoradi Ports To Be Restructured

Accra (GAR), - Ghana's two main deep sea commercial ports in Tema and Takoradi will soon make a positive turn around following restructuring and the injection of about 365 million dollars of foreign direct investment. The long-term plan aims at upgrading the ports into a ''West Africa Gateway'' status to handle up to 95 per cent of the country's international trade activity. According to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) sources, the Tema Port for instance, will be able to accommodate bigger marine vessels, while dockside facilities will be expanded after the current dredging activity is completed. This will increase the draught from the present nine metres to 14 metres to enable it to take larger vessels, while an additional berth will be built to handle liquid and dry bulk cargo such as cocoa and liquified petroleum gas. A container terminal fitted with gantry cranes are also included in the plan. The source noted that with the ports getting refurbished with greater autonomy, the GPHA will limit itself to providing corporate development and coordination of port activity. Consideration is also being given to the possibility of establishing an inland port which will comprise a truck terminal, container depot, road and rail links. Facilities at the two ports currently include 12 multi-purpose berths, in addition to a Valco Berth and a container yard for stacking laden and empty containers at Tema. In Takoradi, there will be five multi-purpose berths, seven mooring buoys, manganese, oil and bauxite berths and a clinker jetty. The Tema port at the moment carries the bulk of the nation's imports while Takoradi takes most of the mineral and natural resources for export. Commander K. T. Dovlo, Director of the GPHA in a write-up on the operations of the ports and efforts to rationalise them, said a look at the operations of the ports has revealed there are certain overlapping activities. He said the private sector will be fully involved in the ports expansion and upgrading programme. "We realise the importance of getting the private sector involved in certain operations especially stevedoring and the container terminals and even workshops and security. "We have looked at various ways of doing that whether by joint venture or 100 per cent transfer to the private sector, or a leasehold on the facilities for investors to operate".

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