US$60m Floating Dock facility to be built in Takoradi

August 31, 2017
Source: Juliet Aguiar Dugbartey l thebftonline.com l Ghana
US$60m Floating Dock facility to be built in Takoradi

Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Limited, a wholly Ghanaian owned company, is to build a world class-repair and maintenance facility for rigs and ships in the Takoradi Port at a total cost of US$60 million.

The facility will consist of a 330-meter pier, a floating dock of up to 200 meters in length with a lifting capacity of 10,000 tons, and an industrial workshop equipped with state-of-the art machinery and equipment.

The project will be in two phases. The first phase is on course to end in December 2017 and will see the conclusion of all financing needed to commence phase two. Phase 2 will involve the acquisition of the floating dock, equipment and machinery as well as the construction of all the needed infrastructure to commence full operation of the yard.

Lead sponsors of the project have invested about US$5 million, secured commitments and interest for close to US$50 million which is almost all the capital needed for the commencement of phase 2 of the project.

The project, after completion, is expected to be manned by adequately trained and experienced workers, capable of delivering timely and efficient ship/rig repair and maintenance services to discerning and demanding international clientele.

 “When fully completed, the project will cost about US$60 million, of whichUS $55 million will be by way of direct foreign investment into Ghana” Mr. Stanley Ahorlu, Chief Executive Officer of Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Limited, said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the company’s offices in the Takoradi Port, he explained that potential investors, led by ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited, are stepping up to commit to the project.

When completed, he said, the project will create a minimum of 300 permanent new and direct jobs and will be equipped to service a minimum of 35 ships and one rig each year, thereby enhancing the status of Takoradi Port as an oil and gas services hub.

 “Again, the project is expected to generate annual revenues of $30million, which will translate into approximately 3.5% of the transport sector’s contribution to the 2016 estimates for Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he added.

 According to Mr. Ahorlu, Ghana’s relative socio-political and economic stability makes the location of the yard an attractive proposition to ship and rig owners and the yard’s unique free zone enterprise status enhances that attractiveness and provides its clients with cost savings unavailable from other yards in the region.

“The size and design of the yard, combined with an internationally recognised technical manager, Rigmar Services UK, gives it immediate access to potentially 90% of the market in the repair and maintenance of ships between 150 and 200 meters in length”, he said.

He mentioned that the sustainability of the business is assured by the expected increase in the number of vessels working within and calling at the West African sub-region. Imports into the region are expected to grow at 9% per annum.

Mr. Paul Ansah, Director General of Ghana Ports and Habours Authority (GPHA), congratulated Prime Meridian Docks for being part of the Ghanaian maritime industry.

“About 50% of vessels calling this Port are oil related vessels and are doing their servicing/repairs in South Africa and Las Palmas. It is a good initiative that this facility will have the capacity to support the oil and gas industry,” he said.

Mr. Bill Donaldson, Business Development Director of Rigmar Services, United Kingdom, pointed out that the Takoradi Port is the best place to support the maritime activities.

“We are here to do business, make money and then give back to community as well as provide long term employment and training” he said. He said the office is open for business-  this affirms our commitment to the Prime Meridian Docks and for the growth of the industry.

Opuiyo Oforiokuma, ARMHIIL’s Managing Director and CEO, said: “We are pleased to be involved in the Takoradi Floating Dock Project, not only because of its fit with ARMHIF’s investment focus on West African transport infrastructure, amongst other sectors, but also because of the comfort that we have in the robustness and viability of the project, and the confidence that we have in the lead sponsors, PMD, their UK-based technical partners, Rigmar Services Ltd, and their South African-based financial advisers, Liquid Africa.

In addition, we are encouraged by the commitment and support that the project is receiving from the Government of Ghana, notably via the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. Much credit must be given to Prime Meridian Docks for their flexibility in accommodating new ideas for enhancing the project, and for their determination and doggedness in driving the project to a stage where financial close should be achieved soon.”

Mr. Kweku Ofori Asiamah, Minister for Transport, said it is the business of government to create an enabling environment for partnership and for businesses to thrive. “We are committed to supporting the private sector to grow by ensuring that our people become the captains of the industry. This will make them competitive on the international market as well as create jobs for our people,” he said.