‘Atuabo Free Port won’t affect GPHA’s fortunes’

CONFAB2The establishment of the Atuabo Free Port (Lonrho) in the oil enclave of the Western Region will not affect the fortunes of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), the Director General of the Authority, Mr. Richard Anamoo, has said.

He said the GPHA was repositioning itself through the injection of massive infrastructure and expansion works at both Tema and Takoradi ports, to accommadate more volumes of cargo and enhance efficiency, effectiveness and quality service delivery to clients.

Parliament last year, passed a bill giving legal backing for the establishment of the Atuabo Free Port, which met resistance from a section of the public who held the view that the new port would affect the fortunes of the GPHA.

But Mr. Anamoo has allayed the fears of the public, saying “the GPHA is embracing the future to provide the most efficient marine services in West Africa.”

Mr. Anamoo said this at an interaction forum with senior editors and programme producers on Friday, at the Fiesta Royale Hotel.

The forum, the first of its kind to be organised by GPHA, was on the theme, “Enhancing the future to provide the most efficient marine services”.

It was aimed at educating and updating media practitioners on the status of ongoing port expansion projects and other port issues.

Mr. Anamoo said that with a 122 million dollar-credit facility from the Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa, the Tema port was creating a four-berth jetty for the handling of bulk cargo.

Similarly, he said 197 million pounds expansion works had begun at Ghana’s second port, Takoradi, in the Western Region.

The expansion works, Mr. Anamoo explained, included extending the breakwater by more than one kilometre to create a new harbour basin for additional berths for bulk mineral ore exports.

“We are working on key development projects in Ghana’s main ports. In Tema, we are building a new bulk handling jetty that will provide up to four more berths. A reefer terminal is under construction which will increase the port’s storage capacity from the current 300 reefer points to 820 reefer points, almost three times the current capacity,” Mr. Anamoo explained.

The Director-General said two new mobile harbour cranes had entered service in Tema port in 2013, and two more were delivered in the first half of 2014 to be shared between Tema and Takoradi.

These new cranes, he said, had improved productivity tremendously, adding that “two new tug boats have been delivered to Tema port”.

Mr. Anamoo, who took journalists through when the GPHA, was established, how far it has gone and where it is going, said looking to the future, the GPHA intended to boost the efficiency of vessels handling services and redefining of areas to capture oil and gas services, as well as the construction of the Kpone terminal.

“We believe these improvements will ensure a bright future for Ghana’s ports as we continue to operate as the nation’s main cargo gateway, while playing a key role as a port of choice for our landlocked neighbours,” he said.

 By Matthew Ayoo

 

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