Posted on November 20, 2023
In a historic moment for Ghana’s maritime landscape, the second phase of the Tema Port Expansion Project was officially launched on 15th November by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The initiative, a crucial component of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority’s (GPHA) master plan, introduces a fleet of 15 cutting-edge gantry cranes at Meridian Port Services (MPS) container terminal and significant civil works development, reinforcing the port’s role as a paramount hub for West Africa. The terminal is operated by MPS, a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (30%), APM Terminals (35%) and Africa Global Logistics (35%).
Impressive plans ahead
The second phase of Tema Port Expansion Project encompasses the paving of an expansive 270,000-square-meter area, expanding the terminal’s footprint from 100 hectares to an impressive 127 hectares. The phased delivery of the first section, comprising 50,000 square-meter area, is slated for July 2024, with the entire project anticipated to reach completion by September 2025.
Speaking at the inauguration, CEO of MPS Mohamed Samara highlighted the transformative impact of this investment. “Today’s gathering marks the initiation of the 2nd Phase of our investment that promises to usher in a new era of enhanced capacity at Tema Port. We are setting in motion a transformation that will fundamentally alter Ghana’s standing in the maritime industry of West Africa.” When this colossal undertaking is complete, Tema Port expects to stand shoulder to shoulder with the world’s most renowned ports and compete favourably with the largest ports on the African continent.
Igor Van den Essen, Regional Managing Director Africa and Europe at APM Terminals commented: “When we embarked on this journey with our partners, we envisioned a unique facility that would offer customers a seamless cargo clearance experience with minimal bottlenecks. It is a pleasure to witness the steady realisation of this vision from 2002 to the present day.”
He also emphasised the commitment to holistic people development and continuous process improvement, which are at the core of APM Terminals’ operations. “Over the past decade, we have focused on developing a comprehensive operating system, which we refer to as our Way of Working. This system revolves around the Lean Management approach, aiming to eliminate waste and inefficiencies through collective efforts. Equally, our commitment to deploying world-class technology has not only improved our operations but also enhanced working conditions for all employees. For instance, roles that previously required long hours of manual labour have been streamlined through technology, creating opportunities for women to take on these positions”, added Igor van den Essen.
Since the launch of the Tema Port Expansion Project, it has led to the creation of numerous jobs across various capacities, with approximately 5000 workers employed in Phase 1 alone.
Boosting cargo handling capacities in Tema
The acquisition of 15 state-of-the-art gantry cranes signifies a substantial boost to Tema Port’s cargo-handling capacity, aligning it with global trade demands. With a total of 12 quay cranes (STS) and 41 yard cranes (RTG), Tema Port is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most efficient ports, garnering international acclaim from leading global shipping lines.
The expanded port boasts a 1.4 km quay with four deep berths, equipped with sophisticated container handling gantry cranes and Terminal Operating Systems. It can accommodate some of the world’s largest cargo ships, carrying up to 18,000 containers. Plans have also been confirmed for a crucial road link from the motorway to the Tema Port, with construction set to commence in the first quarter of 2024.
Highlighting Ghana’s attractiveness to investors, Mr. Philippe Labonne, President of Africa Global Logistics, articulated AGL’s strategic vision for Africa, emphasizing their commitment to creating job opportunities for the youth of Ghana.
Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo reiterated the government’s commitment to self-reliance through an export-driven economy, urging ambassadors and business leaders to champion investment in Ghana’s stable political and social climate. MPS Terminal 3 is recognised as a vital transport infrastructure for the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Tema Port Expansion Project’s Phase 2 is poised to generate substantial employment opportunities for the Ghanaian construction workforce, aligning with the nation’s goal of becoming a key economic hub in the sub-region.