Infrastructure – Harbours
Ghana has two (2) commercial ports: one at Tema, in the east and the other at Takoradi in the west. An inland port is under construction at Boankra, near Kumasi.
The port of Tema covers 166 hectares of water area enclosed by 2 breakwaters. There are 2 quays housing 12 multi-purpose berths. Quay 1 houses berth 6-12, while Quay 2 houses berths 1-5. These berths are operated as common-user and a wide range of cargo including dry bulks, steel products, bagged cargo, newspapers, vehicles and containers. There is a terminal for handling crude and other liquid petroleum products. The oil berth can accommodate tanker of up to 244 metres in length with a maximum draught of 9.7metres.
Recent years have seen a rapid increase in cargo through Tema and owing to trans-shipment and transit traffic to land-locked Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. The expansion of the Tema Port is under way with the collaboration of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and the Meridian Port Services estimated at $1.5 billion for the first phase. Major expansion over the years has reflected by the port’s ability to handle increasing volumes of traffic from 7.3 million tonnes in 2003 to 12.1million tonnes in 2015. Development projects completed in 2016 include a new reefer Terminal, a four (4) berth bulk jetty, a one stop service revenue and data centre, the refurbishment of the transit terminal and the electronic gating system amongst many others.
The Takoradi port, a much smaller one, was commissioned in 1928, but underwent major rehabilitation in the 1990s. It is also presently undergoing expansion to accommodate larger vessels to improve port operations. In 2015, the Port handled 27% of national seaborne traffic, 15% of national seaborne imports, 68% of national seaborne exports, 6% of National seaborne container traffic and 7% of transit traffic to the Sahelian countries of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali. Over the years’ vessel calls to the port has increased from 485 in 2003 to 1,525 calls in the 2015. The increase is attributed to the calls from Oil Supply vessels servicing the Jubilee Oil Fields at Cape Three Points. Since the discovery of oil in 2007, supply vessel calls have increased from 11% to 61% of total vessel calls to the port in 2015.
A new centrally located “inland port” is being constructed at Boankra near Kumasi in the heart of the country. This is expected to be an important staging post for goods in transit to and from the landlocked countries lying north of Ghana. This will be a multi-modal facility handling both road and rail traffic. When the facility enters service, cargo owners to the northern part of Ghana will be able to use Boankra as their trans-shipment instead of Tema and Takoradi.
Due to Ghana’s oil find there is a short term development project to take place at the Takoradi port. The project which is estimated to cost about USD 50 million would involve dredging of the area to 7.0 m, land reclamation, relocation of the cocoa sheds outside the port, construction of about 500m quay walls, 650m oil berth with 10m draft, water hydrant for the supply of fresh water to vessels, office accommodation, oil storage tanks for bunkering, storage facility of oil production materials in a freezone and cargo handling equipment. Thus far, the 1.15 km breakwater into the sea has been completed (in 2016) as part of the ongoing expansion.
Based on cargo forecast up to year 2028 a master plan has been developed for the long term. The estimated cost of project is USD 650 million and it will see facilities like breakwater extension, paved operating areas, conveyers for clinker, bauxite and manganese, railroad, paved roads, container yard and cargo handling equipment being added to the port.
In the eastern part of Tema is one of Ghana’s main fishing harbours. Another is located at Sekondi and other minor ones are located at Elmina, Mumford and other fishing communities along the coast. The Fishing Harbour at Tema comprises the Inner Fishing Harbour, the Outer Fishing Harbour and the Canoe Basin as detailed below:
- Lay-by mooring wharf opposite the main quay
- Total Quay length of 486 metres
- Protective water area of approx. 12.5 hectares
- Outer Fishing Harbour Facilities:
- Depth ranges of 5.0 – 7.0 metres (Chart Datum)
- Capacity to accommodate Tuna vessels and Deep Sea Fish carriers.
- Entrance is 122 metres wide
Inner Fishing Harbour Facilities:
- Mooring facility of total quay length of 467metres (caters for 8 vessels of 54metres length overall)
- Finger Jetty approximately 60metres long
- Lay-by jetty of 155 metres
- Net-mending/Lay by wharf of 100 metres
- Protective water area of approx. 10.0 hectares
- Depth ranges between 3.5- 4.0 metres (Chart Datum)
- Entrance is 63 metres wide
The port of Tema is also a leading center of ship repairs on the west coast of Africa. Convening nearly 49 acres, the shipyard is a convenient hub for dry-docking and repairs of all kinds of ships ranging from large sea going vessels to coasters and fishing boats.The Shipyard has two (2) graving docks of 100,000 dwt capacity and provides dry docking services, lay berths and fitting out quay’s and preservation works. It has facilities for ship repair, dry-docking, steel fabrication, general engineering, met lock repairs and non-destructive testing.