Business News of Thursday, 22 January 2015
President John Mahama has said his Government will soon sign an agreement for the Tema Port expansion project.
Added to the agreement will be the concurrent expansion of the Tema Motorway. It will be expanded into a six-lane expressway with service lanes on either side to accommodate the traffic that will come along with the expansion of the port.
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) opened seven valid bids from corporate entities and joint-venture companies, including a Ghanaian company, which wanted to partner the GPHA to expand Tema Port.
The seven met all requirements that were set out in the tender documents issued by the GPHA after it announced an international competitive tender in March 2013 for the expansion projects.
Among the requirements were detailed engineering designs with cost estimates, details of how to procure the necessary credit facility to fund the projects, and proof of ability to undertake construction works with GPHA as borrower of the credit facility.
Bid values received ranged from $489million to over $2billion, depending on the phasing arrangement selected by the bidder as the expansion works are planned to be done in five phases.
Last year, the GPHA carried out detailed evaluation of the bids over a four-month period before picking a winner.
This major development agenda for the port is born out of GPHA’s sustained effort to keep up the pace of development and expansion of its ports ahead of the rapid population and socio-economic demands of the country.
Aside from improving business at the port, the expansion works are expected to translate into more job opportunities for Ghanaians, more stevedoring jobs, and more jobs for agents and various stakeholders engaged in the sea-trade industry.
Traffic through Tema, the country’s main port, has been growing in sync with Ghana’s GDP growth, which averaged more than 8 percent between 2008-2012.
Container traffic measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) rose 48 percent from 555,009 TEUs to 822,131TEUs in the period. The first phase of the project will include the provision of basic port infrastructure such as breakwater, quay wall foundation trenches, and dredging to adequate depths. It is expected to take two-and-a-half years to complete.
The GPHA will also develop five new berths: two for containers, two for multi-purpose and Ro-Ro facilities, and one dedicated to passenger and cruise vessels under the first phase.
Phases two, three and four of the expansion works will add more container terminals and food/fruit terminals to the cluster, while the final phase will involve the construction of an oil and gas terminal and oil-rig servicing facility to target the burgeoning oil industry along the West African coast.
The planned expansion is expected to provide deep berths from the current 11.5 metres to 16 metres to enable the port accommodate larger vessels.
The expanded facilities will also provide dedicated berths for cruise vessels to call at the port and encourage tourism.
In March 2013, GPHA issued an international competitive tender that attracted the interest of about 53 internationally recognised entities and joint ventures – but only 21 bidders were pre-qualified and issued with tender documents after evaluation of Expressions of Interest (EOI).
The Takoradi Port is already undergoing expansion. Phase one of the project is almost over, according to President Mahama. Like the Tema port, the Takoradi port will also be dredged.