Ports and container terminals operator Yilport Holding has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to operate Takoradi Port in Ghana.

The MoU was signed with Takoradi Port’s current operating company, Ibis Tek.

According to the MoU, Yilport and Ibis Tek have agreed to create a joint venture (JV) company, Yilport Takoradi Port Management Company, on a 70:30 basis that will make investments and operate the Takoradi Port.

Yilport plans to invest more than $700m in three phases to build and operate the port complex.

This investment is seen as a milestone for Yilport, as it will allow the company to enter the African port industry.

Under the management of Yilport, the JV company will build berths to handle 20 million tons of liquid, bulk and general cargo each year.

The project scope also includes further enhancements to the existing container terminal at the port, increasing its capacity up to 2.25 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) per year.

Furthermore, it covers the building of new access roads and gate facilities to increase handling capacity at the port and avoid traffic congestion.

Yilport intends to build a tank farm to handle 2.5 million tons of liquid products annually, expand the total length of the berths to 2.5km, and deepen the draft to between -14m and -16.5m.

Takoradi Port will be Yilport’s 23rd marine terminal and its first terminal in Africa.

Beginning in April, Yilport will assume operations at the port, which is located in the western region of Ghana.

The port is claimed to offer a cost-effective route to and from Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad and Niger for cargo from Europe, the Americas and Asia.

It is mainly used for the export of commodities such as cocoa, timber, bauxite and manganese, as well as importing wheat, fertilisers, clinker, and general and transit cargo.

Yilport Holding chairman and CEO Robert Yuksel Yildirim said: “I am very honoured and excited to welcome Takoradi Port into the Yilport Holding family.

“Takoradi Port will be Yilport’s first step into the African continent, and it will be a gemstone in our vision to rank among the top ten global container terminal operators by 2030.

“We will transfer Yilport’s experience and process excellence methodology to boost efficiency, productivity, while increasing Takoradi’s portfolio of customers.”