AfDB approves US$23.04m to Prime Meridian Docks


…to construct Floating Dock Facility at T’di port

View of stern and rudder of a ship in floating dry dock ready for repair

 The African Development Bank has approved a US$23.04million loan to Prime Meridian Docks AssetCo Ltd. (PMD), a special purpose entity, to co-finance the construction of a modern floating dock ship repair facility at Port Takoradi.

The loan will support the company to design, build, operate and maintain a world-class ship repair and maintenance facility in the Gulf of Guinea under a 25-year concession granted to the company by Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

The project, estimated to cost US$137million, will involve constructing a 200-metre jetty; dredging 300,000 cubic metres of rock in the port basin; and procuring and installing a 13,500-tonne lift-capacity floating dock. The facility will also have offices, a warehouse, mechanical workshops for steel and pipe fabrication, electrical works, blasting and painting, and equipment maintenance.

The Board also authorised the syndication – on a “best efforts basis” – of additional financing up to US$11million.

Commenting on the approval, Mike Salawou – Director for Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development-African Development Bank said: “Vessel repair and maintenance is an underserved market on the continent. Investing in it will provide a more holistic approach to supporting maritime transport and its sustainability, which will accelerate regional integration and attract international trade and economic activity”.

PMD is a Ghanaian company founded and headed by Mr. Stanley Raja Korshie Ahorlu, sponsor of the project. The African Development Bank’s approval and facility is “the culmination of many years’ dedication and commitment and an endorsement of PMD’s drive to transform Africa’s maritime sector,” stated Ahorlu.

The African Development Bank’s hard currency long-term financing for the project will enable it to create over 400 permanent jobs – 15% of which are expected to go to women. This is significantly above the global average of 2% in the maritime sector.

The floating dock’s construction will enhance the ocean economy’s resilience in Ghana and mitigate the carbon footprint from an expected increase in vessel-flow – promoting the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and slow vessel steaming. This aligns with the International Maritime Organisation’s best practices and Ghana’s Nationally Determined Contributions, making the project Paris-aligned.

The project aligns with the African Development Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for Ghana (2019-2023) to increase private sector investment in the real sector. It contributes to job creation and bridging inequality gaps, and supports overall macroeconomic stability in Ghana while mainstreaming various cross-cutting issues into the bank’s interventions.

The project further aligns with Ghana’s national ambition to become a hub for shipping and petroleum operations in West Africa. By enhancing the supply of maritime maintenance and repair services, the project will help minimise transport and logistic costs and time, resulting in increased mobility and connectivity – thus boosting Ghana’s competitiveness.

Skills transfer is a significant development outcome of the project. Its operations/technical and commercial management operator will train staff in its Aberdeen training institute, and a partnership will be developed with the Regional Maritime University at  Tema throughout the project’s life.

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