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Meridian Port Services (MPS) has reappointed globally trusted infrastructure firm AECOM as project management consultant for construction works of the yard, buildings and upgrading the power generation plant for the second phase of the Tema Port Expansion Project in Ghana. MPS is a joint venture between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and Meridian Port Holdings, with Bolloré Transport & Logistics and APM Terminals.
“The fact that our client MPS has reengaged us signals the successful outcome of the initial phases to date,” comments AECOM Africa MD Darrin Green. “This will now be the anchor project for us in West Africa for the next two to three years.”
The state-of-the-art container terminal at Tema includes a new 1.4km-long quay housing four container berths, container stacking yards, a 4km rubble-mound breakwater, a 19m-deep port access channel and various supporting port infrastructure and services.
The port can accommodate some of the world’s biggest container ships due to improved cargo-handling services and capacity. In so doing, Tema Port’s current annual throughput capacity has increased from under one million to 2.5-million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and expandable up to 3.7-million TEU by increasing the number of gantry cranes. The vision is for the port to become a leading maritime hub in West Africa.
While the ongoing work is not complex from a technical or engineering point of view, the contractual and procurement aspects have proven complex. Due to the project requiring a global supply chain, any risks to procurement must be identified upfront and strategies put in place to mitigate that risk and meet the client’s timeframe, says contracts and commercial manager Prince Adu-Poku Okae.
Okae has been involved from the inception of AECOM’s work on Phase 1 and 2 in 2015, supporting the team with contractor evaluations for the marine packages and then moving on to become contracts and commercial manager for the full construction.
AECOM’s initial scope of work covered 120ha and was completed in October 2020. The marine works package comprised a 3 560m breakwater, about ten million cubic metres of dredging and reclamation and construction of the quay wall, all culminating in the completion of four berths. This makes Tema the largest operating container terminal in West and Central Africa.
The land works package comprised container yard paving, utilities and electrical and security infrastructure. Two office buildings were also constructed, one for MPS and the other for the statutory authorities deployed within the harbour. A workshop was also erected to service and maintain all the new materials handling equipment acquired for the upgrade.
The Tema Port Expansion remains a flagship project for the Ghana government in terms of promoting trade, local employment and community development. AECOM has compiled an influx management plan that all contractors are required to adhere to. “They will obviously employ Ghanaians with the required skills and capabilities. It is only the skills that we do not have locally that will need to be brought in,” adds Green.
“Phase one enabled us to train Ghanaian labour to international standards, with the current phase being led by those we trained in the first delivery. This has been great to see and proves our commitment to deliver sustainable legacies and support the communities in which we work,” concludes Okae.
“The fact that our client MPS has reengaged us signals the successful outcome of the initial phases to date.”
– Darrin Green, MD: Africa, AECOM