The Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, has announced that Port Tema is to undergo a massive expansion project.
President Mahama made the announcement whilst inaugurating two new ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and nine rubber-tyre-gantry cranes (RTGs), acquired by port operator Meridian Port Services (MPS).
MPS is a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings Ltd, which in turn, is a joint venture between APM Terminals and the Bollore Group.
The expansion is aimed at positioning Port Tema as the biggest and most efficient port in what has become one of the most rapidly growing markets in the modern age.
Western Africa has seen a sudden surge in the shipping industry – since its opening 52 years ago, Port Tema has increased its capacity from 100,000 TEU to 1 million TEU.
“That is a phenomenal increase but that increase has occurred in a situation in which the port has not expanded proportionately to accommodate the cargo,” said President Mahama.
It is for this reason, he explained, that such a large expansion project is needed.
Discussing the proposed plans, President Mahama stated that the government was planning to build a new interchange at the Tema Roundabout to reduce congestion both to and from the port.
Furthermore, they are hoping to revitalise the Western rail line from Takoradi to Kumasi, which would link the port to both the middle and northern belts of the country in the near future.
Finally, they have a transaction advisor handling procurement of the Eastern railway line to link the Boankra inland port, which “has been standing as a white elephant for many years.”
The news comes at a time of intense competition in western Africa and ports are fighting to reach peak optimisation in order to draw the biggest shipping lines and suppliers.
Chief executive officer, Mohammed Samara noted that inadequate and undeveloped infrastructure could massively hamper business development further. For this reason MPS has systematically invested heavily in infrastructure to meet the needs of its clients.