The Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) and the Shipping Management Transport (SMT), a Dutch worldwide shipping company, have unveiled a new transshipment vessel called MV Gdamsk.
The new vessel is to help the GMC to transship large volumes of manganese ore within the shortest possible time to foreign destinations.
The vessel is expected to be kept at 3.5 nautical miles safe from all port navigational approaches, where smaller vessels will then be used to load/feed a floating storage unit (FSU) with cargo from the manganese berth.
Within the last five years, it has become imperative to find new and innovative ways to address the anticipated bottlenecks in the export of manganese ore.
The new arrangement, which is under the auspices of the GPHA, will not only ensure operational efficiency in terms of quick turnaround time for vessels but will also generate revenue for the GPHA and the government of Ghana.
Additionally, it will create employment and training opportunities for Ghanaian sea farers and cadets from the regional maritime academy.
Over the last six years, manganese exports have increased from 1, 022, 899 metric tons (mt) in 2009 to 2,000, 000mt in 2013, the highest ever since the port was constructed. There are also prospects to exceed that target this year and beyond.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, the acting Director of Ports, Capt. James Owusu-Koranteng, recalled that since 1928 when the Takoradi Port was opened for business,the GPHA had been the main facilitator of the GMC in the export of manganese ore.
He said the event marked the beginning of a new and improved transshipment mode to facilitate the export of manganese ore.
The Managing Director of the GMC, Mr Juren Egen Daal, also said the project was to ensure safety and efficiency in transporting manganese ore to the company’s final destinations, including China.
The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mr Alfred Ekow Gyan, said globalisation was not only increasing demands on the shipping industry but rather making it complex and dynamic with many challenges and innovations.
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