The Takoradi Port has signed a joint venture agreement with a private investor, Ibistek Crowley, for the construction of an off-dock container terminal with a capacity of 7,500TU to improve the handling of containers at the port.

The terminal, located at the Old Prime Wood Site in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, would create sufficient space within the precincts of the port for other activities that would generate revenue.

Captain Ebenezer Afadzi, the Director of the Port, said this at a press soiree in Takoradi on Friday to take stock of its activities and fraternize with the media.

He said 97,000 square metres of land had been reclaimed for the terminal adding that it would construct a floating dock to enable ships and supply vessels that berthed at the port to repair any fault they may encounter.

Capt. Afadzi said the port was partnering Ghana Cement Manufacturing Company to construct a spacious car park at the Old Slaughter House at New Takoradi to ease traffic congestion.

He said the port had completed a 1.08 kilometre breakwater with a 16 metre depth that would enable larger vessels from the West African Sub-region to berth without any difficulty, thus achieving its vision of becoming a one-stop -shop for oil and gas services.

Capt. Afadzi said the ongoing expansion works would enable a single large vessel to load 120,000 metric tonnes of cargo at a time as against 40,000 handled by a vessel in the past.

He said the completion of the port expansion works would improve the turnaround time and eliminate double handling of cargo and drastically reduce the cost of doing business at the facility.

It would also create employment for the youth in the metropolis, accommodate larger vessels and become the preferred destination for shipping companies in the West African sub-region.

Capt. Afadzi said the port was collaborating with the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL) to construct an oil tank farm with a 13,500 litre capacity for marine diesel oil so that vessels that berthed at the port could refill their tanks.

Capt. Afadzi said Sub-Sea Seven Company, which was awarded the contract to construct fabrication yard at the port, had so far undertaken fabrication works and welded vital oil and gas equipment for some oil companies operating on the oilfield.

He said for instance the 'Shed Four' had been demolished and in its place constructed a storage facility for ENI's equipment therefore making the port a one-stop for oil and gas services.

He noted that the desalination plant which processed seawater into potable water had ensured regular supply of water to the oil companies and workers at the port.

The port, constructed in 1928, had been witnessing major expansion works to render modern services to its clients and become the preferred destination for vessels in the sub-region.

He said the management and staff of the port would continue to co-operate and strengthen its relationship with the media for improved service delivery.

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and the Government secured an initial loan facility of 197 million Euros from the Belgian Government for expansion of the Takoradi Port.

Parliament in January this year also approved another loan facility of 160 million Euros for the second phase of the expansion works which would be completed in the next two to three years.