Ghana: Expansion of Tema port begins

13 January 2017

Construction has started on the new US$1.5bn container terminal at the Tema Port in Ghana. The terminal will be run by Meridian Port Service, which is chiefly owned by two giants of the African port sector, Bolloré Transport; Logistics and APM Terminals, and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. It is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

The work will mostly be funded by the World Bank Group subsidiary International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has provided US $667m, and MPS shareholders, who have added US $333m.

The newly elected Ghanaian government has promised to continue with the project, which was approved by his predecessor John Dramani Mahama. The prime contractor on the project is China Harbour Engineering Company, which is developing four berths, a 1.4-km dock, a breakwater, container yard and innovative deep-water access channel.

US engineering firm AECOM is supervising construction and providing design and procurement management services. The project will triple the port’s container handling capacity to 3m TEU, or standard sized containers, annually.

This will make it the largest container port in West Africa, much larger than any present port in Nigeria. MPS handled 646,000 TEU at Tema in 2015, approximately 80% of all containers that passed through the port.

The terminal will position Tema as the most vital transhipment port anywhere on the west coast of Africa and should promote investment in export-orientated businesses in Ghana.

Former Ghanaian President Mahama said: “The general economic impact of this project will translate into 400,000 jobs along the logistics chain.” The terminal will directly generate 5,000 jobs.

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