Posted: Friday 16th May 2014 at 12:42 pm

Takoradi Port expansion: Breakwater nears completion


Construction works to extend the existing 1.075km of breakwater at the Takoradi Port, a crucial part of an ongoing expansion project, is near completion, the Acting Director of the Takoradi Port, Capt. James Owusu-Koranteng, says.

On completion, the project will pave the way for the commencement of work on dredging the access channel to a water depth of more than 16 metres as well as the construction of a bulk terminal and the reclamation of more than 53,000 hectares of land.

There will also be the construction of an additional access road to the port and open storage areas for pipes, plant and machinery, among other equipment.

Briefing the Daily Graphic about the progress of work after a meeting with the press in Sekondi, Capt. Owusu-Koranteng said more than 860 metres out of 1,087 metres of breakwater had been constructed.

He said the entire project was being financed with a 197 million-euro commercial loan, and that there was another loan of $176 million from the Chinese Development Bank (CBD) of China for the constructiobn of roads. First phase of project 

Capt. Owusu-Koranteng said the requirement to haul an additional 2.5 million tonnes of boulders needed for the breakwater was expected to end in July this year.

“We are currently moving at breakneck speed but all the same with safety in mind, to ensure that the project, which is in its first phase, is completed on time without any incident,” he said.

The Acting Director of the Takoradi Port said while the first phase of the expansion project drew to a close, the contractors had already begun preparations for the commencement of phase two of the project which would involve other infrastructural works, including roads. Turnaround time

Capt. Owusu-Koranteng said it was expected that when completed the Takoradi Port would be the best in the sub-region and a destination of choice for importers and exporters in neighbouring landlocked countries.

He said the 16 meter water depth that would be created after dredging and completion of construction works would mean that bigger sea vessels would enter the port to transact business and have significantly improved turnaround time.  Oil and gas hub

He said aside patronage by merchant and other ocean-going vessels, the port expansion would also make provision for oil and gas activities and have an area demarcated for servicing of various rigs operating along the coast of Africa, and as a fabrication yard to support the industry.  Finances

He expressed confidence that the 197 million-euro commercial loan and the CDB loan of $176 million would flow in as required.

Capt. Owusu-Koranteng said as a statutory body mandated to build, operate, maintain and regulate seaports in the country, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) was in the position to attract funding from other sources while it waited for the CDB loan component to arrive.

The vision of the port, he said, was to make it the preferred oil and gas hub in the West African sub-region and that steps were being put in place to ensure that at the end of the expansion works, the port would have the capacity to appropriately service the oil and gas industry when the need arose.

He said to firmly position the port within the oil and gas industry, the port would become home to an oil rig service station which would be the first in the sub region and second on the continent, after  the one in South Africa.

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