Dredging works have begun on the first phase Takoradi Port’s Integrated Container and Multi-Purpose Terminal.
The process, the media was told, is a critical activity that will pave way for the erection of the 600meter long quay wall for berthing of larger container vessels and is expected to cover an area of 795 meters which constitutes the basin from the bulk jetty to the quay wall of the under construction terminal. When fully completed, the terminal will have an annual container throughout capacity of 1million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
In 2017, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) granted the indigenous company IbisTek Limited a concession in the name of its subsidiary Atlantic Terminal Services Limited to build, operate and transfer the Takoradi Integrated Container and Multipurpose Terminal, to be known as Atlantic Terminal in the Port of Takoradi.
Since the formal ground-breaking for casting of the first block was done for the commencement of the project, the pace of work has been phenomenal vis-à-vis the accomplishment of key milestones in project’s critical path.
At the unveiling of the dredger and dredging works at the Port of Takoradi, Dr. Felix Nana Sackey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IbisTek said the terminal is to transform and modernize the Port of Takoradi.
“The contractor currently has almost 400 people on site; Ghanaian employees are on site now. But as the project progresses the number is going to increase. Once the dredging is done, we are going to move to the next level which is the placing of the blocks in the water,” he said.
He explained that provisions have been made to enable local companies to participate fully in the project. According to him, the whole project cost is about US$500 million and the first phase is about US$210 million, which is ongoing.
“Though most of the money is going to the contractor on site; they are not importing anything. So if you look at the percentage, I mean more than 60 percent will come to the local economy,” he added.
Lawyer Kwame Gyan, Board Chairman of IbisTek explained that “this is the first time an indigenous company is entering the maritime space which has largely been dominated by international players.” According to him, the aim of IbisTek is to extend its investment to other countries after the completion of this project.
Capt. Ebenezer Afedzi, Director of Takoradi Port explained that the project, is going to have an impact on the turnaround time.
“When the terminal is completed, we are not going to use the old way of handling cargo, that is the spreaders ship cleaner again. We are looking forward to modern ways of handling containers that is ship to shore cranes,” he said. He mentioned that 62 hectares of land are to be reclaimed.
The dredging is being carried out by a Cutter Suction Dredger (CSD) known as (CSD Zhen He), is taking place on the berthing pockets to a depth of -16 Chart Datun (CD) and the basin to -18.5 meters CD to accommodate the 600 length Quay wall of the project. This type of dredger is used to cut and remove hard and very hard material from the sea bottom.
Jan De Nul, the contractor executing the project is expected to complete work within time to allow for the commencement of quay wall for the terminal.
The Atlantic Terminals is being developed by IbisTek Ghana Limited at a cost of US$475 million, under a concession agreement with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. The project is being financed by the African Finance Group (AFC), the Ghana Infrastructure Fund and other partners.
About the dredger
The Zheng CSD, a self-propelled dredger is a reliable dredger that has been used all over the world for a variety of dredging operations.
It allows for material to be sucked up by means of dredge pumps, and discharged through a floating pipeline and pipes on shore to a deposit area.
The CSD cannot be classified based on the capacity and this is because their capacity and production per hour, depends to the type and hardness of the material to be cut.
It is classified based on the power installed on board and is also the second in the row of large self-propelled CSD.
Zheng has technical characteristics of a 23,500-kilowatt total installed power, a cutter power of 7,000 KW, submerged pump power of 4,250KW, in-board pump power of 2 x 5,000 KW.
It stands at an overall length of 138.5m, 26 m in width, 12.2 m in depth and 5.5 m draft and has a suction and discharging pipe diameter of 900mm as well as a maximum dredging depth of 35 meters.
The Atlantic Terminals is being developed by IbisTek Ghana Limited at a cost of $475 million, under a concession agreement with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
It marks the very first-time a wholly owned Ghanaian firm has been engaged in port development in the country.
The terminal will have a cargo holding space of one million twenty-footer equivalent units (TEUs), an upscale from the average container traffic of about 55,000 TEUs a year.
The project is being financed by the African Finance Group (AFC), the Ghana Infrastructure Fund and other partners.
It is expected to generate nearly a million jobs during the construction phase, about 400 permanent jobs and about 1,000 indirect jobs when completed and it becomes operational.