From Alfred Adams, Takoradi
President Akufo-Addo, on Sunday this week, cut the sod for work to begin on the multi-billion-dollar Takoradi Port expansion project. It comprises of a container berth of 16 metres and a multipurpose berth of 14 metres chart datum.
He also commissioned the newly-constructed 1.9-kilometre road linking Paa Grant Roundabout to the port.
IBISTEK, a 100 percent wholly owned Ghanaian company, is behind the project. Speaking at the ceremony, the President pointed out that the initiative was part of the country’s efforts to modernise its port facilities ahead of competitors in neighbouring countries.
He said, currently, Ghana’s neighbouring countries such as Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin had embarked on a similar port expansion project to compete for the same market.
IBISTEK Limited and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) entered into a concession agreement in 2017 to develop a container and multipurpose terminal, which is expected to give the Port of Takoradi its biggest facelift since it was constructed in 1928.
The new terminal will have a 510,000 square metres of quay wall and dredged depth of 16-metres chart datum to handle new container vessels.
Before the commencement of the 2017 agreement, the GPHA had also entered into a concessionaire agreement with IBISTEK to develop an Inland Clearing Depot or off Off-Dock Container Terminal on the former Ghana Prime Wood Product Limited Sawmill site.
The facility will operate for a period of 25 years, after which it would be handed back to the GPHA. That apart, the GPHA will be paid on an annual basis, 25% profit after tax.
The Chairman of IBISTEK, Mr. Kwame Gyan, pointed out that the 2017 Concession required IBISTEK Limited, as the concessionaire, to relocate the existing oil jetty at the Takoradi Port and to reconstruct the road from the Paa Grant Roundabout through New Takoradi to the Takoradi Port gate.
The 1.9-kilometre road, he said, had been completed, with pavement block surfacing to ensure durability.
The remaining section of the road is the 2.3 kilometres from New Takoradi to TACOTEL. Currently, he said, management was finalising matters relating to compensation for structures within the road reservation, so that the contractor could continue work.
He estimated the total cost of the road project to be $6,383,693.97.
The road project, he underscored, was being borne by IBISTEK as part of its social responsibility, and also to ease traffic leading to the port.
The Acting Director General of the GPHA, Mr. Edward Osei, applauded the local entities which spearheaded collaboration between IBISTEK and the GPHA.
He said as a result of the need to meet the growing demand of its clientele, the GPHA embarked on the major expansion.
The Acting Director General pointed out that the port required berth capabilities of taking vessels of all sizes and a correspondent terminal with adequate space, well equipped and capable of handling cargoes of all volumes.