President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut sod for works to begin on $137 million floating dry dock and the $98 million oil and gas services terminal at the Takoradi Portin the Western Region.
The floating dry dock, with Prime Meridian Docks (PMD)Assetco Limited, as the client and Sellhorn as the consultant, will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company (Ghana) Limited (CHEC)in 546 days.
Scope of project include 200m length x 20 meter width jetty, 85 meters length of vertical quay, 918 length of slope revetment, 318,200m3 of dredging and 113,700m3 of reclamation, guide piles for floating dock and an access ramp.
For the oil and gas services, with Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA) as clients and GYTD as consultants, will also be executed by CHEC in 670 days, that’s by September 6, 2024.
Scope include a 550 meter quay, wall, 752,045m3 of dredging, 703,813m3 of reclamation, 105,500m3 of ground improvement, storage yard, and concrete roads water supply, storm and sewage pipe networks, power and communication.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Akufo-Addo, noted that the two projects would enhance cargo handling capacity, maintenance and repair of ships.
He added that, the new operations would also meet the demands of the rigours of the oil and gas services sector within the Takoradi Port enclave.
President Akufo-Addo indicated that, the construction of a modern oil and gas services was part of the strategic development of the Port of Takoradi to serve the emerging petroleum hub.
Its completion, he added, would accommodate service providers, fabrication companies, exploration companies and their suppliers.
The PMD floating dry dock, he said, would carry out maintenance works on vessels which otherwise would have to call at Las Palmas and other ship repair facilities in other countries for maintenance work.
President Akufo-Addo projected “I have no doubt that these projects and many others will spell rapid economic growth and accelerate the development of our economy. I want to take this opportunity to commend Prime Meridian Dock group for this bold step, as we seek to improve access to vessel repair services within the western part of the country and across the West African region.”
When completed, he said, the floating dry dock project, would avoid cost, enhance cargo container handling capacity of the port.
He stressed, it is also to trigger improved service delivery and lower tariffs to the advantage of the Ghanaian and West African economies and ensure a competitive environment for maritime trade.”
The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, noted the challenges the ATS project faced since its inception but was happy the President invested confidence in the group that a Ghanaian investor could rise to the demands of government and industry.
Seaport and maritime transport, he said, were crucial for international market, regional integration, attracting investment which would benefit not only Ghanaians but also neighbouring countries including Burkina Faso and Mali.
“We sought to create an environment that is conducive for investment and that discovery of oil in commercial quantities reinforced the need for expansion of Takoradi Port for the potentials of the oil and gas industry,” Mr Asiama added.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, who was excited with the project, spoke about the commitment and performance of the government to transform the economy and infrastructure of the region and the country.
Noting that, the Western Region, together with Western North Region, produced more than 50 percent of Ghana’s cocoa, Mr Darko-Mensah argued, they deserved to feel its impacts along the exporting value chain and beyond what government pays directly to farmers.
He, therefore, appealed to Cocoa Marketing Company to fast-track efforts to make the Port of Takoradi their hub for all cocoa export in order to expand the associated job opportunities for the people in the region, especially as with coming into operation the ATS container that multipurpose terminal.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI