Meridian Port Services (MPS) says it has secured the sum of USD 1.5 billion for the expansion of Ghana’s Tema Port project which is expected to boost trade flows and links across West Africa.
MPS Limited is a joint venture between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings Limited, with Bolloré Transport & Logistics and APM Terminals as the two main shareholders.
MPS is executing the project within the GPHA Master Plan for the development of Tema Port.
The MPS have made great achievements under the Concession Agreement which was granted in 2004.
Philippe Labonne, The Director General of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, mentioned that “the new port infrastructure, and its future expansions, will propel Ghana into the global best in class, which will improve Ghana’s competiveness, facilitate trade growth and improve tax collection”. He said, the expanded port will also result in increased foreign exchange earnings through servicing international shipping lines in the port.
The project will enable Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity. These improvements is expected to enhance the Port’s competitiveness, and position it as a leading maritime hub in the
West African region.Kim Fejfer, CEO , APM Terminals said, “A vast continent, with a rapidly growing population, Africa is still significantly under-represented in world trade, currently accounting for less than five per cent of global container trade, but the establishment of modern port infrastructure such as this Tema Port expansion will help link African markets to the global logistics chain and promote new trade opportunities and economic growth.”
The package includes $195 million from the IFC’s own account and $472 million from three commercial banks: the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Standard Bank, as well as the Dutch development bank, FMO.
The financing package for the construction of a new Port in Tema is IFC’s largest port investment and biggest infrastructure mobilization to date in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The immediate cash flow need of the US$ 1.5 billion port development is $1 billion. MPS has signed a $667 million financing package with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, while the MPS shareholders will provide the rest of the funding as fresh equity amounting to $333 millio
The IFC is the largest global development institution specializing in private sector investment in emerging markets. MPS has awarded the marine construction contract to China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), and AECOM Professional Services (Ghana) Limited, to oversee the construction.
CHEC is a Global Fortune 500 company with more than 60 branch offices and subsidiaries serving in 80 countries around the world.
AECOM is expected to provide design and procurement management services prior to the award of construction contracts, and then will supervise the construction of all of the port expansion facilities.
Mr. Richard Anamoo, Director General, Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority said “This expansion project takes the dream of our founding father Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to the next level and will remain for future generations to benefit from. Tema Port, in conjunction with Takoradi Port will enhance GPHA’s contribution to the economic growth of our sub region.”
Mohamed Samara, CEO OF Meridian Port Services stated, “This 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,” adding,” Bigger vessels means reduced freight charges, with significant savings and a tremendous benefit to the shipping community of Ghana.”
Mr. Samara also noted that presently the largest vessels which can dock at Tema Port are WAFMAX (West African Maximum Vessels) which can carry between 4,500 and 5,000 container Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). The impending expansion will, among other things, increase the depth of the harbour, and add 4 deep-water berths, a breakwater and a new access channel, enabling to port to accommodate vessels of up to 20,000 TEU capacity.
Dr. Alhaji Asoma Banda, the Chairman of the MPS Board, said the project will also generate a vast increase in employment opportunities in the country. The expansion works will create around 5,000 direct jobs with industry experts estimating that the economic impact of such new infrastructure will translate into approximately 450,000 new jobs.
Construction of the harbour expansion project will begin on 1st October 2016 and is projected to be completed by 4th Quarter of 2019.