Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday commissioned a $56.7m new state-of-the-art Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Takoradi Harbour.
Dr Bawumia also cut sod for the construction of a new multi-purpose Dry Bulk Jetty Phase Two, also at the Takoradi Port.
The Dry Bulk Jetty project, when completed, will help in the efficient handling of dry bulk cargos like manganese, bauxite, clinker, gypsum, quick lime, among others, at the port.
The newly commissioned Liquid Bulk Terminal, the biggest in West Africa, has five loading arms for five products, namely petrol, diesel, LPG, heavy fuel and bitumen.
The existing facility for handling such cargos is 120 metres, with a depth of 8.6 meters, and the new one which was commissioned by the Vice-President is 300 meters, with a depth of 14 metres.
The massive investment and commissioning of the Liquid Bulk Terminal will significantly improve efficiency, as the new facility is designed to support vessels up to 60,000 tons of petroleum cargo carriers, and is five times faster than the existing one for the discharge of these products in the country.
The facility, which can take two-and-a-half times capacity of the existing facility, will help BDC companies to avoid delays, which result in demurrage cost.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, Vice-President Bawumia underlined the significance of maritime transport to the Ghanaian economy, and also reiterated the Akufo-Addo government’s quest to support the improvement and expansion of infrastructure at the ports.
“There is no doubt that maritime transport presents the most important mode of international freight movement. It also goes without saying that without a resilient infrastructure and an efficient port operations, there will be little trade and very little socio-economic benefits to the country,” Dr. Bawumia said.
“Besides offering the most economical and reliable way to move goods over long distances, our Ports provide the platform for revenue mobilization through customs duties and taxes and provides employment opportunities to several Ghanaians.
“Our Ports also contribute to the development of commercial activities in our neighbouring landlocked countries, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. It is for these reasons that Government places greater emphasis on promoting a business friendly environment within the maritime sector,” the Vice-President said.
Dr Bawumia added that the government has over these past few years spared no effort at increasing the development and expansion of the physical infrastructure, the deployment of state-of-the-art operational equipment and the development of the human resource capacity of Ghanaians to efficiently manage the country’s maritime facilities.
While calling for the improvement of efficiency of port operations to ultimately reduce the cost of doing business, Dr Bawumia assured of government’s continuous support for the Tema and Takoradi ports, as well as the development of a new port at Keta.
“We have and will continue to support the Tema and Takoradi Ports expansion projects and the development of a new Port at Keta. These expansion projects are being implemented in phases,” he said.