The Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA), along with Meridian Port Services (MPS) and its partners Bolloré Transport & Logistics and APM Terminals, have started expansion work on Tema Port.

To be developed with an investment of $1.5bn, the expansion is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019.

The expansion project, which will be conducted under a 35-year concessionary agreement, has been funded by International Finance (IFC).

"The expansion will boost the port’s capacity to handle around 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units of cargo."

As part of the project, around 120ha of land will be reclaimed from the sea to build an inland container terminal, operational offices and other auxiliary units, reported Daily Graphic.

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Additionally, a 16m-draft and a 1.4m quay wall with a 4m deep berth will be constructed with an aim to allow the port to accommodate bigger vessels, around 360m in length.

New container handling gantry cranes and terminal operating systems will be added in order to quadruple the capacity of the port to handle some of the biggest container ships of the world.

Furthermore, the expansion will boost the port’s capacity to handle around 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo.

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Ghana President John Dramani Mahama was quoted by Daily Graphic as saying: “The overall economic impact will translate into 400,000 jobs along the whole maritime transport chain.

“We have also directed the port authority to develop the capacity of our ports to support the integrated bauxite and aluminium industry which has the potential to generate the movement of over ten million tonnes of cargo and create over one million permanent jobs within the first ten years of its establishment.”

The first phase of the expansion, which includes two berths, is expected to be completed by 2018.