US engineer Aecom has been chosen to manage the $1.5bn expansion of West Africa’s second largest port on behalf of its operator, it was announced last week.
The project involves the expansion of Tema Harbour in Ghana, a deepwater port that presently has the capacity to process 1 million TEU (20ft equivalent) containers a year. The aim is to triple that by dredging a 19m deep access channel, adding four container berths along a 1.4km quay and building a 4km breakwater.
The work is being undertaken for Meridian Port Services (MPS), a joint venture between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Meridian Port Holdings, a joint venture between French operator Bolloré and its Dutch counterpart APM Terminals.
Aecom is to manage the design and procurement of the project and will also supervise its construction phase. The work, which will be carried out by China Harbour Engineering, is due to be completed in 2019.
Aecom said in a statement that it had assembled a team from across its global organisation to tackle the expansion. It said: "Due to the project’s size and complexity, our team includes highly experienced port project managers who have come to Tema from our global organisation.
Â "They will work with our Ghanaian specialists, who are well-qualified in project controls, contract administration, construction management and environmental management. We have a truly multinational staff, representing nine nations and five continents."
The Tema Harbour project is one of a number of port schemes going ahead in West Africa as countries in the region expand their limited and inefficient trade infrasrtucture. At present the region handles about 7.5 million TEU containers a year in ports that have a combined capacity of about 10 million. It is likely that this will increase to 22 million by 2020.
Specialist website JOC.com reported last November that six ports in the region would expand their capacity beyond the 1 million mark. These include the 1.9 million capacity Lomé Container Terminal in Togo, Badagry and Likki ports in Nigeria, Dakar in Senegal and Abidjan in CÃ´te d’Ivoire.
Further down the coast, Cameroon is working on the Kribi project, which is intended to replace the notorious post of Douala, where containers spend an average of 21 days between arrival by boat and departure by road and rail.
Image: Tema Harbour is the second largest port in West Africa after Lagos (FH Communications Bureau)