The Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority has dismissed suggestions that the 1.5 billion dollar Tema Port expansion project agreement will be cancelled due to a change in government.
In September 2016 the Meridian Port Services (MPS) was awarded the contract for the construction of the Tema Port expansion project to the China Harbour Engineering company ltd. and AECOM Professional Services (Ghana) ltd.
This was after officials of the company secured the required financing to execute the Tema port expansion project.
The project, which is the biggest investment of the almost 70 years history of the World Bank, would increase the capacity of the port thrice its current size, is projected to be completed in four years
Construction works on the $1.5billion Tema Port expansion project was expected to commence on the 1st October 2016.
Following the recent elections, there are speculations that the project will come under scrutiny and might be cancelled.
But director of Ports Jacob Adorkor says the public private partnership deal has already been signed between the GPHA and Meridian Port Holdings Limited.
“The expansion work is on, there is not going to be any change because we have concession agreement. This contract is between MPS and Ghana ports authority. That will not be affected in anyway. There are clauses in the concession agreement that holds GPHA responsible for any eventuality”.
Meanwhile the GPHA says it expects the new government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways to play a key role in plans to upgrade the Accra Tema motorway into six lanes with slip road to enhance trade activities which is also part of the port expansion deal.
“What will happen is that the Ministry of Roads and Highways should take it up and continue through the documentation processes. The total amount involved is 1.5 billion dollars and that is for the expansion of the port and the road project”.
MPS has signed a $667 million financing package with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, while the MPS shareholders will provide the rest of the funding as fresh equity amounting to $333million dollars.
This will however enable the development of an ultra-modern state-of-the-art port facility at Ghana’s primary commercial hub.
The project, valued at USD 1.5 billion, in addition to serving Ghana, is expected to expand trade flows and links across West Africa.
The project will allow Tema port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.
These improvements will enhance the port’s competitiveness, and position it as a leading maritime hub in the West African region.
Desmond Frimpong|3FM 92.7|3news.com