Marine works at the ongoing Tema Port expansion project, being undertaken by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), is on schedule, with over 53 per cent work complete.
The marine work, which forms one of the three components of the expansion project, consists of the construction of a breakwater, quay walls, deep water berths, and access channels for mega vessels.
Mr Frank Ebo Brown, Legal, License and Permits Manager, Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS), the company carrying out the expansion, revealed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Mr Brown said with the current pace of work, the first two berths of 700 metres of quay wall, under the expansion project, would be ready for use by the end of June 2019.
He added that the third and fourth berths would be ready in 2020 and 2022 respectively, when the one billion US Dollar project would be completed.
The expansion work is supposed to reclaim a total of 120 hectares of land from the sea, and to provide deeper berths, which would make it easy for mega vessels that require about 15 to 16 metres draft to berth.
He explained that when the first two berths become operational in 2019, it would increase vessel operations at the port, as, currently, the deepest berth at the Tema Port was 11.5 metres.
According to him, commencement of other works, which include a building to accommodate all public authorities operating at the port, a workshop and an MPS office building, was underway.
He explained that the expanded area would also have a 40-megawatt power station to serve as a backup for the national grid, which would ensure the efficiency of the operations of the facility.
Mr Brown disclosed that since the port was a security zone, it would also have a gate complex which would use an optical character recognition system, license plate recognition system, and scanners to ensure that only recognised vehicles and persons entered the facility.
Mr Emmanuel Ohene Addo, Operational Manager at MPS, on his part, stated that seven new ship-to-shore cranes, post panama, and 20 new rubber tie ganty cranes (RTGS) would be received in Ghana towards the opening of the first two berths.
Mr Addo added that two mobile harbour cranes would also be used at the new berths, adding that they would be used to complement the ship-to-shore cranes.
He explained that whereas the ship-to-shore cranes were large and used electricity, the mobile harbour cranes operate on diesel and are smaller in size, making it convenient to be used at the shallow areas of the berths.