Construction works on the US$1.5billion Tema Port expansion project is expected to commence on the October 1, 2016, according to a press release from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
The project, which is the biggest investment of the almost 70 years of the World Bank, would increase the capacity of the port thrice its current size and is projected to be completed by Q4, 2019.
Meridian Port Services (MPS) has awarded the contract for the construction of the Tema Port expansion project to the China Harbour Engineering company ltd. and AECOM professional services (Ghana) ltd.
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The immediate cash flow need of the port’s development is $1billion. MPS has signed a $667 million financing package with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, while MPS shareholders will provide the rest of the funding as fresh equity amounting to $333 million dollars.
The project, in addition to serving Ghana, will also expand trade flows and links across West Africa.
The Director General of GPHA, Richard Anamoo said the port expansion project takes the dream Dr Kwame Nkrumah to the next level and will remain for future generations to benefit from.
Mohamed Samara, CEO of MPS, stated that the project clearly displays the strong commitment of MPS in the drive towards improving Ghana’s competitiveness as a preferred destination for international trade and investment.
MPS is executing the project within the GPHA master plan for the development of Tema port, and building upon its success and achievements under the concession agreement that was granted in 2004, resulting in the latest massive expansion of Tema port’s capacity and infrastructure.
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The project will allow Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.
These improvements will enhance the port’s competitiveness, and position it as a leading maritime hub in the West African region.
Ronke Ogunsulire, Country Manager for IFC said the financing of the project also represents IFCs largest port investment and biggest infrastructure mobilisation to date in sub-Saharan Africa.