The Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport has today, Friday, February 8, 2019 paid an official visit to the Tema Port Expansion Project site.
The committee led by the Chairman, Hon. Samuel Ayeh- Paye, visited the project to familiarise themselves with details on the development of the new port and its advancement.
The MPS Senior Management team welcomed the committee and displayed a presentation about the background of MPS, present and the future of its business activities including the Port Expansion Project.
The Committee was informed about the general progress of port expansion construction works. The committee was keen to learn about the progress that has been made by the MPS team from the launch of works to date.
The CEO of MPS, Mohamed Samara, indicated that due to the shareholders’ solid financial commitment coupled with stable and robust project finance from the IFC, the MPS project team and all the contractors had their entire focus on the job which is reflected in the ongoing excellent project progress, it is expected that the first 2 berths will be fully functional by the end of June 2019 where Terminal 3 will go-live and open for receiving commercial vessels as well as receive and deliver containers from/to shippers and consignees.
The 3rd New Berth will by operational in the 1st Quarter of 2020 ahead of the scheduled completion in June 2020.
The committee members took turns to express their delight at the work that has been done and its exponential benefits to the economy of Ghana and West Africa.
Hon. Ayeh Paye commended MPS. Let me say that MPS is one of the best international companies in terms of human resource development and innovation. From all that has been achieved so far I have no doubt that this is a project that would benefit Ghana. He also assured that Committee will continue to wholly support the project and activities of MPS.
Ghana as the Gateway to Africa
According to Mr. Samara the new gigantic Port Infrastructure will be able to accommodate Ghana’s trade & industry growth as well as serving as the regional hub for West Africa and beyond.
The Meridian Port Services terminal’s efficiency, accessibility, number of Shipping Lines, frequency of vessel calls, the short waiting time at anchorage, fast vessel turnaround time, high port capacity and berth availability are the optimal criteria for making Tema Port, The Hub Port for Africa.
Having a Hub Port in Tema will steer Ghana Industry to be connected to the wider West Africa consumer markets in a more efficient way (direct services or shorter transit time and competitive sea freight rates). This is an important facilitation to the economy; attract investment in the trade & industry sectors to setup facilities/factories round Tema Port leading to job creation, increased trade and higher foreign exchange earnings etc.
The Senior Management Team, Frank Ebo Brown (Head of Legal), Emmanuel Ohene-Ado (Operations Manager), Irene Asiedu (Assist. TOS Manager) among other Ghanaian managers expressed their satisfaction with the transfer of skills and training that had been given to the Ghanaian workforce at MPS.
The MPS Team emphasised that, this is a Ghanaian company and we pride ourselves in skills development and succession planning. So far we have Ghanaian Managers at various levels who went through the ranks; from the lowest level and through training are handling various departments of the company. Apart from that, there are former staff members who are currently in high positions in the industry as well as in some international organisations.
During the discussions, it was established that more and more jobs have and would be created owing to the Tema Port Expansion Project.
While the newly expanded port facility will certainly create additional jobs; The major benefit arising out of the Tema Port Expansion Project is that MPS will hand back to GPHA, ahead of schedule, the Terminal 2 facilities that MPS currently occupies.
This is a fully developed and paved area with all facilities of about (61 Acres) 247,000 m2 of yard with 576 meters length of quay wall (2 Berths) that can accommodate vessels with 11.5 meters deep draft.
The existing Terminal 2 facility which will be handed back by MPS offers massive added capacity to GPHA to create a number of business opportunities to handle numerous types of vessels such as RoRo, General Cargo and Break-Bulk/loose for Ghana as well as develop and implement (with strategic investors) facilities to store and distribute stocks of various commodities for West Africa. Hence more and more jobs will be created at all levels.
The Committee’s Deputy Ranking Member, Hon. Yussif Issaka Jajah, expressed his delight about the obvious job creation and employment as well as the far-reaching associated trade costs reduction and Gross Value Added to the economy.
The CEO announced that MPS received the 2nd batch of gantry cranes totalling 27 Gantry Cranes and that it is a well-timed visit as the vessel that brought the cranes is currently alongside the first new berth discharging the cranes.
This is recorded as the largest fleet of gantry cranes ever acquired in West Africa. 7 Ship-To-Shore gantry cranes (STS) on the water front and 20 electric Rubber Tyre Gantry cranes (eRTG) in the yard. The cranes are of superior quality & specifications and come packed with the highest technology.
The committee proceeded to the site to see the rate of work done as well as the spectacular discharge of the cranes.
The new Port is expected to be officially opened on 28th June, 2019.