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Business News of Tuesday, 25 November 2003

Source: GNA

Takoradi Port would be first choice for shippers

Takoradi, Nov 25, GNA- The expansion of the Takoradi Port estimated at 250 million dollars would make it the most modern and the first choice for ships to West African, Mr Paul Asare Ansah, Marketing and Customer Service Manager of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), has said.

He said this at a forum organised for media personnel as part of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Port on Monday.

Mr Ansah said projects earmarked under the project include construction of new berths for bulk cargo, two new container berths, three new multi-purpose berths, extension of break water, storage facilities for bulk cargo and containers, road rehabilitation, and plant equipment and crafts.

The port can handle more than 700 vessel and more than six million tons of cargo by 2010 when the project is completed.

He said 477 vessels called at the Port last year while 3.4 million tonnes of cargo was handled during the same period at a turn round time of one-and-a-half days.

Mr Ansah said the port is in the process of privatising some of its operations particularly in the management of warehouses and presently six private clearing companies are doing business at the Port.

He said Takoradi Port would become a "landlord Port" after its privatisation process and this would improve efficiency.

He said clearing companies are expected to bring in new equipment to handle transit cargo.

Mr Ansah appealed to the government to remove the 200 dollars transit fee on export from the landlocked countries, as this is a disincentive because some countries, notably Niger, "are gradually pulling out of the Ghanaian Corridor".

He said the Takoradi Port would soon develop a cruise and water front facilities to promote tourism.