Paving the way to Ghana’s growth

A USD1.5 billion investment in Ghana’s infrastructure by APM Terminals and its partners is unconventional in its scope, and will have a major role to play in maintaining the pace of one of the world’s fastest growing countries.

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1) Entrance Channel & Harbour Basin Dredged to accommodate vessels with 16 Meters draft. 2) Breakwater 3,850 meters 3) 4 well equipped berths total length of 1,400 meters. 4) Reclaim 120 Ha for container yard and other common user facilities.

An attractive market

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Ghana’s economy to expand by 3.5% in 2015 and by 6.4% in 2016.
  • Container shipping industry analysts have estimated that the overall African containerized cargo handling has increased by 7.2% in 2014, as compared with an overall global growth rate of 5.4%.
  • African port container volumes are forecast to continue to increase well above global market volumes.

Cars and trucks carrying containers and other heavy cargo thunder along the same two roads and stretch of highway connecting the port of Tema and Ghana’s capital city of Accra, every day.

Built solidly in the 1960s, this port-road infrastructure handles 70% of Ghana’s trade. A $1.5 billion investment by APM Terminals and its partners will ensure it can support the country’s growth and development for the next 50 years.

“This investment is unusual because of its size and the scope of the project,” says Peter Votkjaer Jorgensen, Head of Africa Port Investments for APM Terminals. “This is a long-term investment for us. It is an infrastructure package that will completely renew Ghana’s critical infrastructure and help the country support its expected future economic and population growth.”

Multi-purpose and future proof

The new port build will cost approximately $1.5 billion and will be a modern multi-purpose facility located on what is today an undeveloped beach adjacent to the existing port.

It will make room for an initial 3.5 million TEU, have allocated space for a variety of terminal operators and eventually boast 17 berths for vessels of all types, including much larger container vessels than those it can handle today.

“We’re building a port that needs to handle the full range of the country’s needs, from commodities to containers,” says Jorgensen. “In terms of vessels, it’s important for Tema to remain competitive on trade and transport costs and that means an ability to handle much bigger ships than is possible today. With a new channel and a draft of 16 metres, Tema will be able to handle container ships of at least 13,000 TEUs.”

Better access in and out

The road project, which will require an additional USD200-300 million in investment, will ensure that as the country’s economy grows, the cargo will continue to move smoothly in and out of the port.

The new port build in Ghana’s capital Accra will cost approximately USD 1.5 billion and will be a modern multi-purpose facility located on what today is an undeveloped beach adjacent to the existing port. Total throughput capacity will be 3.5 million TEU.

Public private partners

The USD1.5 billion investment is a joint venture between partners APM Terminals (35%), Bolloré Africa Logistics (35%) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (30%) through the Meridian Port Services (MPS) joint venture company.

This project will include the expansion of the 19 km long Accra-Tema Motorway from four lanes to six, adding an additional lane in each direction as well as new intersections. Meanwhile, the two main roads connecting the port and the highway will also be renovated and upgraded, with new junctions that will ensure the continuous flow of traffic.

“Now it’s becoming a necessity, rather than a luxury, to be able to handle the future volume,” says Mohamed Samara, CEO of Meridian Port Services, the consortium that runs the current Tema port and will be running the new one as well. “We are not only operating today but will also be doing so tomorrow and the day after – and 35 years from now.”

Public private partnership

The Tema port project will create 5,000 jobs and be funded entirely by the joint venture partners, i.e. from land reclamation, channel dredging and breakwater construction to the eventual construction of the above ground facilities.

Unconventional as it is, it is necessary. Like several other African countries, Ghana has experienced some economic bumps recently. Supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government is trying to build a more sustainable and diversified economy. One aspect of this consists of encouraging more private investment, especially in infrastructure, such as power, roads and ports.

“We have been in Ghana for nearly ten years now, operating the current Tema port together with our partner Bolloré Africa Logistics. In that time we’ve developed a good relationship with the government, so they know how we do business and that they can expect us to not only deliver a world class port, but also operate it, professionally,” says Peder Sondergaard, Head of the Africa-Middle East region for APM Terminals.

We’re building a port that needs to handle the full range of the country’s needs, from commodities to containers.

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PETER VOTKJAER JORGENSEN, HEAD OF AFRICA PORT INVESTMENTS FOR APM TERMINALS