The Director of Port at the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA), in Takoradi, Captain Ebenezer Kojo Afadzi has given a strong indication of management’s preparedness to transform operations to make the Takoradi Port a world class Port and a dominant oil and gas hub of the West African sub-Region.
Captain Afadzi said workers at the GHPA in Takoradi have laid the foundation to “change the game” as part of the forward movement of the Port of Takoradi which is clear manifestation of its increasing importance to the economy of Ghana and its ability to deliver “service delivery promise”.
He was speaking at the 2018 End of Year Stakeholder Cocktail Party at the Senior Staff Club House in Takoradi during the week.
The party afforded management and stakeholders the opportunity to interact and share thoughts during the year 2018 and the way forward in 2019.
Captain Afadzi reminded stakeholders at the Takoradi Port to “work harder to position the Port of Takoradi as a key economic enabler not only for the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, but Ghana and the Sahel as a whole”.
Making a comparative analysis of January to October 2017 and 2018 statistics, he said there was an increase of 642,150 metric tonnes representing a 10% increase in traffic with all indicators except transit registering increases with 7% of imports, 14% of exports, 3% of transhipment-36% of transit.
However in 2017, total port annual traffic recorded was 8 million metric tonnes which management believes would have been exceeded by the end of December 2018.
Captain Afadzi said vessel calls soared by 200 calls representing 15% due to calls by supply vessels servicing Gahana’s oil and gas fields which recorded an increase of 33% from 742 in 2017 to 983 calls within the same period in 2018.
He used the occasion to assure stakeholders at the port of management’s commitment to continuously invest in both facilities and operations to facilitate a quick, cost effective and safe environment for business and therefore gave them an update of key highlights of strategic decisions and implementations in 2018.
The Director added that additional 200m of the quay wall of the new bulk jetty was handed over to GPHA by the contractor JDN bringing total operational quay wall to 600m.
He said with funds secured for the construction of the remaining 200m of the quay wall of the new bulk jetty, work was in progress and will be handed over by end of April 2019 to signify completion of the whole 800m quay wall of the new bulky jetty.
“Seainvest negotiations for the management of the new bulk jetty is in an advance stage at the Ministry of Transport. The consultants to the project, MTBS, have submitted an analysis document for cabinet consideration and the project will commence very soon”, he stated.
Captain Afadzi disclosed that works commenced on the 300m/14m depth new oil jetty by the contractors, Amandi wa progressing steadily with 55% of the project complete as of November ending (2018) adding that the new jetty will become operational by April ending 2019.
He said the Port continues to provide cost efficient operations to the oil and gas industry as was recently witnessed the load out of the biggest suction pile (15.5m width) fabricated at the Belmet 7 yard located in the port to the jubilee field.
The Port also leased 10,000 square of land to Springfield (sub-contractor for Aker Energy) for the construction of fabrication and testing yard to support Aker energy’s oil and gas campaign in Ghana.
Captain Afadzi was happy that the joint venture between GPHA and Bistek under a concession agreement signed between the two in 2017 to develop multi-purpose port terminal facilities within Takoradi port for handling containerized cargo and other multi-cargo commodities and related terminal services will in January 2019 commence physical construction.
This follows the signing of a project management contract with Royal Haskoning DHV of the Netherlands for the provision of a technical advice and construction supervision in relation to the 1-million twenty-foot equivalent units multi-purpose container terminal.
He announced that to reduce the cost of doing business through the port, the Port anchorage fees has been reduced from $0.0187/mt to $0.015mt adding that negotiations were on-going to review downward water supply charges at the Port.
The Port face the challenge of continuous breakdown of the mobile harbour cranes which impacted negatively on operations particularly container vessel turnaround time.
He announced that the situation is almost resolved and come 2019, the Liebherr Crane christened George Barnes will swing into full action.
On the future of the GPHA, he said the construction of the oil hub remains a major priority for the board and management and as a result the search for a strategic partner had reached an advanced stage.
He said with 6 blocks earmarked for oil and gas development in the Western basin of Ghana, the Port will continue to be the main strategic support base of the industry and will support the current on-shore explorations of oil and gas in the Voltaian basin.
Captain Afadzi disclosed that the Black Ivy group is poised to commence ground works on the 405-acre Industrial Park 25km away from the Port of Takoradi at Yabiw Free Zone site early next year.
He said just this morning the group visited the office with the African Director of John Deere Company to acquaint themselves with both facilities and operations of the Port to support their assembly plant in partnership with the Indian company TATA in Takoradi and export finished machines through the Port.
The Harbour Master, Captain James Quayson said management and staff of Takoradi Port are ready to be at the service of customers and pledged to work hard to make the Port the preferred destination of the West African Sub-Region.
Source: Daniel Kaku