Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has signed a grant agreement with The Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) to enhance the water and sewage system at the Tema Export Processing Zone (TEPZ).
The Tema Free Zone is the largest industrial zone in Ghana with a total area of 1,200 acres (480 hectares) and strategically located in Ghana’s major industrial and seaport city of Tema, however, it is faced with developmental challenges including inadequate water supply for business operations.
The project would help solve the demand and supply gap by meeting the current demand of 7,518 m3 of water per day for industrial companies located in the industrial park.
Total cost of the project is more than €1. 84 million.
The Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) would commit €1.65 million, representing 90 per cent and Ghana Free Zones Authority contributing a commitment fee of €184, 168, representing 10 per cent.
The construction of a new water storage facility to augment the old existing one would have a 6, 800 m3 (1.5 million gallons) underground tank and 2, 273 m3 (500, 000) overhead tank with a pumping station.
The investment would not only improve customer services and productivity of the companies in the Tema enclave but would position resident companies located in the Tema Export Processing Zone to create a total of 1, 500 jobs.
The Facility Investing for Employment (IFE) is an investment mechanism created by KfW Development Bank on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ). It would build a sewage system after the construction of the water project.
Mr Mike Oquaye Jnr, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Free Zones Authority, who signed the MoU, said though the current water demand per day by the the ninety-one 91 companies operating within the enclave had been 1,653,729 gallons (7,518 m3), the storage capacity at the enclave stood at 6,800m3.
He said the ground-level tank provided a daily supply of 4,090 m3/day and a buffer of 2,710m3 had been reserved to address emergencies such as the need to fight fire and construction works undertaken by TEPZ
“The projet will take about 12 months to be completed and will address the demand and supply gap that has led to higher production costs, shortened production cycles, stifled expansion, and slowed production growth, which invariably affects the need for accelerated job creation,” he said.
Mr Steffen Kuhl, Managing Director, IFE, said the robust, multi purpose export industrial zone was of utmost importance to the economy and country at large, adding there might be eight or nine similar projects signed by the close of the year after this being the sixth project agreement signed.
“In Germany, it is not Mercedes Benz or Siemens that made our economy strong but the “hidden champions,” the smaller companies that produce things that are only available in one or two companies worldwide. I say this because sometimes we underestimate the importance of small enterprises and things,” he said.
Mr Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, said: “We believe that the only way to accelerate our development is through industrialisation and one of the key pillars is the establishment of special economic zones and parks. That’s why we have attached so much importance to the Ghana Free Zones Authority. We don’t take this project for granted.”