GPHA constructs harbour craft jetty to improve vessel turnaround

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Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA)
Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA)

The Meridian Ports Services Limited (MPS) in collaboration with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has constructed a harbour craft jetty at the Terminal three, Tema port to improve vessel turnaround time.

The jetty will help maximize operational efficiency at the Port by accommodating harbour crafts such as tugboats within optimum proximity to carry out vessel handling services.

Before its construction, tugboats and marine operations personnel operated for about 30 minutes from the terminal, delaying vessel turnaround time.

Mr. Emmanuel Ohene-Addo, the Operations Manager at MPS, speaking at a GPHA forum, said the port operators were projecting a 64-minute improvement in an average vessel idle time for departure by June 2023, and 94-minutes improvement by end of the year.

He disclosed that their dream was 60 minutes like what happens in world class terminals.

He said before the jetty’s operationalization a month ago, the average vessel idle time for arrival for the year 2022 was 54 minutes, with average vessel idle time for departure at 154 minutes (about 2 and a half hours).

“Same with the arrival time, we are trying to bring it down to 40 minutes by June, then 30 minutes by end of the year,” he noted.

He disclosed that MPS and GPHA were collaborating to also construct an office complex to house the marine personnel and MPS’ operational staff to facilitate the smooth process of berthing and unberthing cargo-carrying vessels.

Mr Ohene Addo said the heavy investment in infrastructure at the MPS Terminal 3 was all geared towards providing the caliber of services, the league of world class terminals provided.

In a related development, Captain Francis Kwesi Micah, Tema Port Harbour Master, revealed that the GPHA were procuring two new tugs and train more pilots to enhance vessel handling services at the Port.

He said, the acquisition of an additional tugboat, the provision of the craft jetty, and accompanying office space, were all born out of the GPHA’s vision to leave no gaps in the port supply chain, adding that the initiatives also aligned with the Authority’s objective of making the Tema Port, the leading container hub and beacon of trade in the sub region.

He said that meant that Ghana would stand tall in the competition that was riling up in the West Coast, as a lot of competition was coming up in Abidjan, Cameroon, Nigeria, and others.

He said such initiatives would ensure the country did not lose cargo and shipping traffic but would rather increase the volumes the Ports received.

The Harbour Master added that it would place the Port at the peak point of efficiency in terms of vessel turnaround in the Terminal, adding that his outfit’s relocation of some of its craft and personnel at the Terminal 3, would save the GPHA from the extra fuel needed to run the harbour crafts as majority of the container vessel operation were undertaken at the terminal.

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