The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Cairo approved senior debt funding of USD 50 Million for Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Ltd (PMD). This is to form part of a USD 75 Million syndicated project-finance facility for the company’s maritime infrastructure project.
The funding is to support PMD to build and operate a world-class ship repair and maintenance facility in the port of Takoradi under a 25-year concession granted the company by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA). The project when completed will comprise some 30,000 sq. meters of paved laydown area, a 200-meter jetty, modern workshops, offices, heavy marine equipment and a newbuild 13,500t lift-capacity handy-max size floating drydock. The ship repair facility when fully operational will create over 500 new jobs and positively impact the local and regional maritime economies.
According to the project co-ordinator, Maria Ogbugo, the company is finalizing its engagements with other lenders including African Development Bank (AFDB) and UMB Bank, as well as its equity partners, ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund and Stratcon Capital to conclude the USD 137 Million fund raise and to commence construction in Q4 2022. The civil and marine components of the infrastructure are to be constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and Keppel Nantong respectively.
PMD is a Ghanaian company founded and headed by Stanley Raja Korshie Ahorlu, sponsor of the project. While developing the project over the past seven years, the company has benefited from the support of an impressive list of international blue chip partners, clients and advisers such as Rigmar Services UK, LiquidAfrica, Trinity International LLP, N. Dowuona & Company, Watson Farley & Williams, Mott Macdonald, Royal Haskoning DHV, EY, KPMG, Sellhorn Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, SAL Consult, Maersk Drilling (now Noble Drilling), Valaris PLC, Swire Pacific (now Tidewater), Manteniship, DOF Subsea, and Banchero Costa.
Mr. Ahorlu views the USD 50 Million Afreximbank facility as a “significant breakthrough resulting from our years of belief, value creation, resilience and partnerships.” Tariye Gbadegesin, the CEO of ARM-Harith, contributed that ARM-Harith is thrilled to be part of a project which will contribute significant development impact while positioning Ghana squarely to support the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Ernest Nyarko, Investment Director of ARM-Harith, on his part calls it “a major leap forward for the project,” while Keith Nelson, CEO of Rigmar, refers to it as “our long awaited and very well-deserved achievement.”