The Takoradi Port this year recorded a total port traffic of 9.9 million metric tons as against 8.2 million metric tons last year, representing 21 per cent increase in total port traffic.
It also recorded a rise of 2.2 million metric tons in exports, representing a 42 per cent.
Captain Ebenezer Afadzi, the Director of Takoradi Port, made this known at a press soiree organised by the port management in Takoradi to interact, inform and educate stakeholders about development of the port.
Despite the positive total port traffic, he said, a decrease of 13 per cent was recorded in imports, 21 per cent decrease in transhipment and 26 per cent in transit, but added that, it was only exports that registered an increase of 43 per cent.
He indicated that vessels’ calls to the port also decreased by 206 from 1,712 in 2018 to 1.506 this year.
According to him, despite the increase in commercial vessel calls from 645 in 2018 to 743 this year, oil supply vessel calls decreased from 1,067 calls to 793 this year.
However, he was hopeful the situation was set to change in the coming year since a lot of activities were expected in the oil and gas field in 2020.
On the Takoradi Port expansion programme, Captain Afadzi said it achieved significant milestones under various projects and development.
Under the “New Bulk Jetty,” he said the construction of 800 m quay wall was completed and installed with 48 fenders and 28 bollards, and that discussions were on course to ensure the installation of a 3,000mt/hr capacity conveyor system to ensure efficient service delivery.
He said in August this year, the first quay block was positioned to signal commencement of work on new multipurpose container terminal and that all things being equal 600 metres of the quay wall would be completed in November 2020.
On the “New Oil Jetty,” Captain Afadzi said, so far, 95 per cent of the first phase of the 300 meter -14 Chat Datum facility were completed.
Details of completed works include; the installation of 71 foundation piles, five loading arms and the mounting of seven Dolphins with cat ways between them.
The second phase of the New Oil Jetty project, which was ongoing involved the installation of a fire fighting system, pigging system, heat tracing line and metering.
It would be operational by the end of the first quarter of 2020, he said.
“Definitely, the completion of this new oil jetty will mean efficiency-gains as bigger vessels with larger volumes will enjoy quick turnaround,” Captain Afadzi added.
He said a 10,000sqm warehouse was being constructed by BAJ Freight and Logistics and that when completed it would help facilitate the oil/ gas operations through the Port.
The construction of a New Civil and Electrical Engineering Office complex was 99 per cent, he said, and that it would be handed over to the GPHA by the end of first quarter 2020.
The GPHA is in discussion with private partners Redsea Gateway Terminal Service for the development of the oil and gas hub.
The contract would involve the reclamation of 28 acres of land at the former Cocoa Wharf, construction of 550m quay wall with berth pockets dredged to 9m.
According to Captain Afadzi, the first phase would involve the reclamation of 28 acres and the construction and dredging of a 350 quay wall to service oil supply vessels, which would take 23 Months to complete.
The reclamation of the stretch of land from New Takoradi end of the Port to the Naval Base in Sekondi to be used for Petrochemical industry related activities would pave the way for new opportunities to attract more investors/investment into the enclave.
“When reclaimed the land can be used for large tank farms for gas to be tapped and stored for LPG and Butane,” Captain Afadzi said.
Already, about four companies have expressed interest in partnering GPHA for the development of that stretch of land to support the planned New Takoradi oil refinery and other petrochemical related activities.
Notwithstanding, the Captain the port was saddled with bad access road to the New Bulk Jetty, the installation and operation of the fumigation facility in the port and the recent port tariffs.