GPHA to reclaim sea land for warehouses - $100m project starts next year
A major project to reclaim vast portions of land from the sea in Takoradi in the Western Region will begin next year to pave the way for the construction of large-scale warehouses and other facilities for cargo storage.
The first phase of the project, which is estimated to cost between $35 million and $100 million, depending on the size of land to be reclaimed, forms part of a major initiative by the government to make Ghana ports the hub of cargo transit in the sub-region.
It is also expected to give the port of Lome in Togo a run for its money, and make shippers more comfortable to use the ports in Ghana as transit points to landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GHPA), Michael Luguje, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, said: “We have done the feasibility and identified the location to reclaim lands in Takoradi.
“For the first phase, we are looking at between a minimum of $35 million and $100 million maximum to reclaim sufficient lands for now.
“Investors have expressed interest in it and we are looking at the terms.
No private sector person has reclaimed storage land before.
The port's authority is looking at how much it can contribute to the initiative,” he said.
Working tour, bright future
The GPHA Director-General was speaking in an interview after he and other government officials paid a working visit to the Philadelphia Port in Pennsylvania, United States of America, as part of the second US-Ghana Business Summit and Expo organised by the US Ghana Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia.
“Ghana's future is very bright as a lot of conscious effort is being put in place by government to create the enabling environment for private sectors to grow.
“All major government agencies facilitating trade are doing the best they can and the ports have invested heavily to expand infrastructure beyond even the next decade or two,” Mr Luguje said.
He said the platforms were there to ensure that in importing or exporting cargo, the vessels had no reason to complain that the port infrastructure was not adequate.
Among the three major ports in the West Africa sub-region, that is Takoradi and Tema, Lome in Togo and Abidjan in La Cote d’ Ivoire, a tariff regime seems to be playing a major role in attracting shippers.
The government increased tariffs and ports charges in the 2023 budget, a development which many trade associations, among others, frowned on and forced a few shippers who use Ghana ports as a transit point to consider neighbouring countries.
Cargo volumes in the first two quarters of the year fell by about 25 per cent but the situation is reversing as there seem to be a spike in numbers in the third quarter, a phenomenon which is expected to continue.
Meanwhile, Mr Luguje said the GPHA had conducted a research to look at pricing and the tariffs that these ports were charging.
“When you look at the total cost for all the components of ports charges, we noticed that Lome was quite less expensive than Ghana.
“ If you take the ship related charges which is separated from the cargo related charges, and you look at them in component terms, Ghana was slightly higher than Lome.
“However, Lome is also more expensive in terms of the cargo related charges than Ghana.
Considering Abidjan too, Ghana is more competitive than Abidjan on both the ship related and cargo related charges,” the GPHA Director-General explained.
These findings, he said, had guided the GPHA in many directions and indicated that all would be done to ensure Ghana achieved its objective of making its port the most attractive.