When completed this will increase the annual capacity of the harbour from its current 50 thousand to one million twenty-foot equivalent units of containers.
The Atlantic Terminal will sit on 62 hectors of reclaimed land. The project is being undertaken by a Belgium Company Jan DeNul and is expected to be completed on November 3, 2021.
The integrated container and multi-purpose Atlantic Terminal Services is a build-operate-transfer project between IBISTEK, an indigenous firm, and the Ghana Port and Harbours Authority, after GPHA granted IbisTek the concession.
The dredging work which started this month is expected to be completed in April this year.
The Chief Executive of IbisTek, Dr Felix Nana Sackey, said the dredging, which is important, shows IbisTek’s commitment to becoming the first indigenous major Port operator.
“As an indigenous company with a first time experience in the Port industry, you always have to prove that you can utilize the funds appropriately so that you can pay back; and so that is very significant in terms of the project development challenges that we went through, but finally we have proven to everybody that we are capable of managing those funds. We are hoping that the project would be completed before the planned commissioning which is the third quarter of 2021, and look at the long-term. IbisTek has plans of expanding the Port business to other sub-regional countries who have access to the sea where we can similar projects.”
Dr Sackey added that they have already created some jobs for the locals in the first phase of the project which costs $210 million.
“The contractor currently already has almost 400 people on site who are Ghanaians, but as the project progresses, that number will increase and as you can see, once the dredging is done we are going to move to the next level which is the place of the blocks in the water, and that will bring in some more people in addition to what they have now. So employment at the end of the day, we are projecting to hit about four thousand at the peak.”
On his part, the Director of the Takoradi Port, Captain Ebenezer Afedzi, said the dredging of the Atlantic Terminal construction is critical to the overall objectives of the Port.
“This project is very important to us because for years Takoradi Port has been deemed to be a port only for bulk mineral ore and container vessels and the rest were not coming here as we expected. The reason was our Port had the deepest draft of 10 meters. Now, this terminal we are building is going to have a depth of -16 meters chart-datum. When we complete, we can bring in ships of up to -16 meters. The quay length for the container terminal is about 800 meters which is almost equal to the length of the old port.”
He, however, added that it is impossible to realise the estimated one million twenty-foot equivalent units target after completion of the project will not be attained in the short-term.
The authorities are therefore looking to at least 200 to 250 TEUs in the first year after completion.
The Project Manager of Jan D Nul, Calin Andreescu, said all is set to deliver the phase one of the project as anticipated.
“We started dredging in February. We have commenced cutting of the basin area to -16 meters and practically it will be a basin that will allow very big vessels to come to the area. We have also started cutting trenches for the quay wall at -18.5 meters which is 2.5 meters below the level of the basin. That will be the foundation for the quay wall. We are hoping to finish the dredging works by April this year” he noted.