Global shipping and logistics conglomerate, Maersk Group, has expressed its commitment to continue investing in Ghana.
The group which operates in some 130 countries in a wide range of activities in the shipping, logistics, and the oil and gas industries with a workforce of over 88,000 employees are celebrating 25 years of operations in Ghana.
Maersk, through its subsidiary APM Terminals, is operating the containers terminal Meridian Port Services (MPS) in Tema in conjunction with partners. APM Terminals has now joined forces with its partners in MPS to investment some $1.5billion in expanding the Port of Tema.
The Maersk Group Chief Executive Officer, Nils S. Andersen in his second visit to Ghana in less than 2 years, described his company’s partnership with Ghana so far as positive and productive hence, the decision to invest more in the country.
“Ghana is important to the Maersk Group. Ghana represents 5 percent of Maersk Line’s business in Africa, which is quite a lot, and it’s a country where we want to invest more. He said his visit is therefore to strengthen the 25-year partnership” he noted.
He further revealed the company wants to play an active role in the future growth of Ghana through investments in trade, infrastructure, and energy.
“Together with our partners, we have committed $1.5billion dollars to the expansion of the port in Tema which would create probably the largest and most modern terminal in the sub-Saharan Africa. This will enable Ghana’s trade for the coming decades and support more efficient flows of exports as well as imports” Mr. Andersen said.
According to him, plans are far advanced for the project to kick-start as the design and tender for the construction of the new port is being finalized.
“We are still waiting for the last approval of the final agreement with the authorities but we have progressed quite far and we are very enthusiastic about the opportunities.
He added the construction of a new container terminal as part of the Tema Port expansion project will ensure a seamless transfer from the old to the new terminal to the benefit of the economy.
“It will boost employment and allow the country export and import larger quantities of goods which are very important for securing growth in a country like Ghana. Together with our partners, we also have a principle agreement with the government to expand the road from Tema to Accra which will massively improve the infrastructure and logistic efficiency between the port and the main city. This is aside from the $1.5billion dollars project so all in all, it is a massive initiative that will really improve the logistic efficiency of the country,” he said.
Plans for more offshore oil and gas service activities
Nils Andersen revealed that Maersk Group has a very large drill ship working offshore in the oil fields of ENI, describing the operations which started last year as steadily progressing and ahead of schedule.
He said the Group would like to offer more offshore equipment and offshore services.
“There is a number of good oil companies operating in Ghana and we have very good drilling exploration platforms as well as supply vessels available for servicing so we are looking at exploring further opportunities. We also plan to offer the services of the largest tugboat operator in the world, Svitzer, which is also part of the Maersk Group” he said.
Ghana, according to him is an open economy which has embraced globalization and containerization very well.
He commended Ghana for embracing Public/Private Concession in Tema port more than 10 years ago – culminating in the inauguration of a modern container terminal MPS in 2007.
Container volumes have since almost tripled in terms of trade in and out of the country.
“Our shipping lines Maersk Line and Safmarine handle about one-third of the total export cargo out of Ghana. We are also the largest carrier of the export commodity, cocoa out of Ghana and we are proud of being part of the process of serving the needs of the country,” Nils S. Andersen concluded.