Mildred Siabi-Mensah, GNA
Takoradi, Aug. 31, GNA - Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, has lauded the efforts of the Prime Meridian Dock Services for establishing a world-class standardised maintenance and repair facility for Ghana’s Oil and Gas Sector.
He said the time had come for the country to revive defunct local industries and create new ones to have the captains of industry required to accelerate socio-economic growth.
Mr Asiamah, who was speaking at the commissioning of the Prime Meridian Docks’ new offices at the Takoradi Port, said the Government was committed to creating the enabling environment for partnerships with the private sector to thrive and improve livelihoods of people.
“We are committed to supporting the private sector to grow by ensuring that our people become the captains of industry. This will make them to be competitive at the international market as well as create jobs for our people,” he said.
The Transport Minister said the Government was committed to ensuring the success of the project, adding that the Ministry was not ready to kowtow to international pressure but would put in place policies and programmes to ensure that the visions of Ghanaians were realised.
The Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Limited, a wholly owned Ghanaian company, would build a world class-repair and maintenance facility for rigs and ships at the Takoradi Port at a cost of $60 million.
The facility would consist of a 330-meter pier, a 200/35-meter floating dock with a lifting capacity of 10,000 tonnes, and an industrial workshop equipped with state-of-the-art tools and machines.
The project would be in two phases; the first phase would end in December 2017 and would see the securing of all finances needed to commence phase two, which include acquiring of the floating dock, equipment and machinery, as well as building of the needed infrastructure to commence full operation of the yard.
Lead sponsors of the project have already invested about five million dollars into it and secured commitments and interest for close to 50 million dollars, which is almost all the capital needed for the commencement of phase two.
Mr Stanley Ahorlu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prime Meridian Docks Ghana Limited, explained that potential investors, led by ARM-Harith Infrastructure Investment Limited, were committed to the project, which is expected to create a minimum of 300 permanent jobs.
He said the project was expected to generate annual revenue of 30 million dollars, which would translate to a 23 per cent return-on-investment with annual revenue of 30 million dollars.
“This would account for 3.5 per cent of the transport sector’s contribution to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
Mr Ahorlu said Ghana’s relative socio-political and economic stability made the location of the yard an attractive proposition to ship and rig owners, adding that the yard’s unique free trade zone status enhanced attractiveness as well as provided its clients with cost saving services.
“The size and designs of the yard, coupled with internationally recognised industry experts such as Rigmar as technical manager, gives the yard immediate access to potentially 90 per cent of the market in the repair and maintenance of ships between 150 and 200 meters length,” he said.
Mr Paul Ansah, the Director General of Ghana Ports and Habours Authority, congratulated Prime Meridian for helping to grow the maritime industry.
“About 50 per cent of vessels hauling this Port are oil related vessels and are doing their services in South Africa and Las Palmas. It is a good initiative and has the capacity to support the oil and gas industry,” he said.
Mr Bill Donaldson, the Business Development Director of Rigmar Services, United Kingdom, said it was good to do business with the Takoradi Port as that could help it give back to the community.