The first vessel has successfully docked at Tema Port’s new MPS Terminal 3, Ghana. The container vessel will be used for training purposes over the coming weeks, to ensure that the terminal runs smoothly from day one, when operations begin later this month on June 28.
Chartering the test vessel will cost around 250,000 Dollars. Over the coming weeks it will be used to run a full-scale test of the port and for final staff training. “When it comes to training, the benefits significantly outweigh the cost involved,” explained Chief Executive Officer of Meridian Port Services Ltd, Mohamed Samara.
“The MPS Operations Team are shifting gear, from systems and equipment commissioning, and integrated testing, to simulating a full-fledged container terminal operation between yard and vessel.”
Testing the Terminal Operating System
“Testing will not only involve operations at the waterfront and yard, but also more importantly the Terminal Operating System (TOS) and the full planning process for receipts and delivery,” says Mr. Cyrille Lemee, Head of Business Transition. “We will pull together results from this trial operation, analyse them, identify all gaps and prepare for the next vessel call.”
Referring to how prepared the Operations Team were for the scheduled Go- Live, Operations Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Ohene Addo was reassured that the right team were in place for the beginning of operations. “For the Go- Live, every member of the operations team has undergone training and retraining. So far, the training process has yielded the expected results and we anticipate more improvement going forward, especially as result of running simulations using test vessels. I can confidently say that the team is ready and come June 28, we will Go-Live.”
Project Director, Mark Nolet explained that in the run up to Go-Live, the construction team would hand over the facility – including all installations in the yard space, quay side and offices – fully to the operations team.
“As this is a continuing project, the construction process will continue, but will have no impact on daily operations once the port goes live,” he says. “We hope to achieve our target of completing phase two of the project in record time as we are already two years ahead of schedule.”
Most efficient port in West Africa
The Tema Port Expansion Project is spearheaded by Meridian Port Services (MPS), a joint venture between Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (30%), APM Terminals (35%) and Bolloré Transport and Logistics (35%). On completion it will be the largest and most efficient container terminal on the Western Coast of Africa with a deep-water draft of 16 meters. It has the potential to catapult Africa into a different level in the world shipping industry by creating new service routes and connections, and opening up the market for Africa. It will also reduce freight costs and position Ghana as a model maritime nation.
The terminal is projected to handle throughput of 2 million TEUs with the opening of phase 1 and 3.7million TEUs when fully completed.