Ghana to modernise sea port for oil production
Ghana's western sea port in Takoradi is to be redevel oped and expanded to meet the challenges of the emerging oil and gas industry in the West African country, the Minister of Transport, Mike Hammah said. The first phase involves a detailed engineering design while the second phase w ill consist of marine works.
The third phase will cover both marine and civil works.
Ghana has discovered oil in commercial quantities off-shore the west of the coun try and the first barrel is expected to be pumped in the last quarter of this year.
Hammah said at a stakeholders forum in Takoradi that the ministry had a crucial role to play in the successful oil and gas industry.
He said the current situation where services needed by the oil companies were be ing provided by western neighbour Cote d'Ivoire could not be allowed to continue.
The managers of the port, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, say the weaknesses of the port, which was built in 1928, include shallow berths, low operational p r oductivity and land space limitation.
The Takoradi Port handles over 600 vessels a year. It handles Ghana's main expor ts including manganese, bauxite, cocoa and forest products while key imports are clinker, containerized cargo, oil products and wheat.
In recent years the port has been handling large volumes of transit cargo for la ndlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Takoradi handles about 4 million tons of goods, while the Tema port in the east handles about 9 million tons.