The Ghanaian Government in recent news is set to award a contract for its port expansion in the sum of $2.5bn to facilitate trade and investments as well as attract bigger vessels all in bid to make it the hub for the sub-region and to serve landlocked neighboring countries.

The contract which is slated for completion in 2018 has 18 companies lined up to present technical and financial bid for five stages of expansion at the Tema and Takoradi ports before 27th January, 2014. The port when completed will be twice the present capacity, reduce waiting time for vessels and handle large ships. It will rival Nigeria, which presently has the biggest port in the sub-region.
The project is to be handled by the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) for the Government. Recall that Ghana debuted as an oil exporter in 2010 and is the second biggest cocoa producer in the world.

Head of Marketing and Public Relations, Mr. Peter Asare Ansah said that it is Ghana’s dream to be the regional hub for shipment and to receive really big vessels. The need to quickly expand capacity to handle ever increasing traffic is paramount, he adds.

Tema ports which handles 90 per cent of the Nation’s traffic and located 30 kilometers east of Accra, when expanded will double to 2 million TEUs a year by 2018. Already, traffic at Tema ports has risen to 822, 131TEUs last year from 2000. A report by African Centre for Economic Transformation summarized that allowing deeper vessels will boost trade revenue by $490 million.

Takoradi port is operated by London-based Tullow Oil Plc and handles oil exports from offshore Jubilee field. With expansion, outputs will more than double to 250, 000 barrels/day in 2021 as against 102,000 barrels this year – Ghana National Petroleum Corp.

The project is to include dredging of channels to allow deeper ships to enter, build base for oil operations and bulk handling of bauxite, manganese and clinker of Portland Cement.

While the cedi is the worst performing currency in West Africa with a 10 per cent decline against the dollar this year, Ansah maintains that the ships are safe in Ghana waters and so the foremost need take advantage of the peace and stability. This is on the piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea with border Nations of Ghana, Gabon and Nigeria where majority of the 40 attacks in the first nine months were east of Ghana.

Article is written by Unen Ameji-Author and Blogger.

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