The Director of the Takoradi Port, Capt. James Owusu-Koranteng, has called on the public and stakeholders in the maritime sector to support the ongoing expansion works to turn the port into an oil and gas services hub as it will create employment opportunities for locals and ensure that revenue from the business remain in the country.
“Ghanaians should keep an open mind and allow the port to be expanded; we should not allow foreigners to take over the job. We need locals to take over the oil and gas business so that the droppings or revenue from the business will stay within the country.”
“This project is already creating employment for welders for sub-sea serving. The floating dock, for instance, when it arrives before the end of this year, will also require more workers to operate.
“Aside that, the various companies that will be operating within the hub are going to employ local content that will open job opportunities to Ghanaians both within and outside Takoradi.
“We need our kids and kins to take up the various jobs in the buoyant oil and gas services sector,” he told the B&FT.
Capt. Owusu-Koranteng’s comment comes on the back of plans by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to reposition the Takoradi Port to support the country’s offshore oil and gas production and its related activities as part of the ongoing expansion of the Takoradi Port.
He said the Takoradi Port has brighter prospects and there is therefore the need for collaboration from various players in the maritime sector and the general public to enable the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to turn its ideas and vision for the maritime sector into reality to support the country’s economic growth.
“The future is bright for Takoradi Port, the Takoradi metropolis and the country as a whole provided we are given the free hand to operate and also given the support both internationally and locally to churn out the ideas, the dreams and the vision of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority,” he said.
Expansion works to transform the Takoradi Port into an oil and gas services is progressing steadily with the entire platform expected to be fully operational by mid-2016.
Capt. Owusu-Koranteng said key components of the first phase of the project, which are the extension of the breakwater northward by 1.708 kilometres and the provision of a brand new desalination plant have been completed paving way for other works including the reclamation of a land area of 53,000 hectares, an open area for oil pipe and an access road to the port.
The next step after these developments, he said, will be the expansion of berthing facilities and the demarcation of the oil and gas platform for the various operators and the dredging of the port from the current -11.5 meters to -16 meters to enable the port to handle larger vessels.
“We are progressing steadily on plans to turn the Takoradi Port into an oil and gas hub to support offshore exploration activities in the country; the breakwater and a desalination plant to supply clean water to the platform has been completed.
“The next step will be to dredge the port to -16 metres to support the cargo handling side of the port’s operations. As we speak, the major contractor to undertake the reclamation works has arrived and it is setting up its office before it hits the ground running.
“Going by the timelines, a large part of the hub will be ready by end of 2015 for operators to come in because by then the bare floor will be demarcated; but the platform will be in full production by the middle of 2016. We are also bringing in a floating dock that will be servicing supply vessels and the oil vessels within the port, in line with management’s quest to build a one-stop- shop for oil and gas activities.”
The development of the oil and gas services hub forms part of the ongoing expansion of the Takoradi Port to meet the current demand of the sea trade sector in the wake of increased oil and gas exploration activities in the country coupled with the anticipated surge in cargo throughput to the port.
“As we build the oil and gas platform, we will also be looking at the cargo operations side as well. The breakwater is completed; we have commenced work on the north quay. The area has been laid and the dredger will be arriving this month,” he said.
It is expected that the expansion works, when completed, will position Takoradi Port to meet demands of the growing international market as it will be able to accommodate bigger vessels and reduce ship turnaround time aside helping to reduce congestion.
Meanwhile, fishermen who operate within the catchment area of the ongoing expansion project have been cautioned to stay away from the dredging area.