GPHA, GMC to take delivery of two vessels

 
The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority and Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) will take delivery of two vessels at the end of this month to enhance turnaround time in the transportation of manganese.

The move is also expected to improve revenue mobilisation for the state as well as the companies involved.

With the two vessels, Floating Storage Unit (FSU), in place, Ghana Manganese would be expected to increase its current exportable tonnage from 45,000 to more than 100,000.

Speaking to the media at Takoradi, the acting Director of the Takoradi Port, Capt. J. Owusu Koranteng, said the FSU vessel would be positioned at the anchorage within 3.5 nautical miles, “safe from the port’s navigational approaches.”

He said after successfully positioning the FSU, an accompanying shuttle vessel, which can carry up to 9,000 tonnes of manganese at a time, would then stockpile the manganese in the FSU for the ocean going vessels to load.

Benefits
Captain Koranteng said the arrival of the vessels would ensure fast loading of bigger tonnages and eliminate buoys, which was always hotly contested for by the vessels calling for manganese clinker and bauxite.

He said currently, part of the cargo from the GMC was loaded at the manganese wharf and movement was difficult.

“However, with the FSU vessel, the accompanying shuttle—which is about 130 metres long—will replace all the barges which had to do several trips,” he said.

Captain Koranteng said the other benefit was that the operations of the FSU would be outside the main port, which means  more space for other activities.

“For all intent and purposes, the project is expected to go a long way to have a positive effect on the efficiency of bulk cargo shipment in the port for revenue mobilisation,” he added.

Tonnage before the new technology
He said the FSUs were designed in a way that could withstand the transshipment in high seas and in rough weather and that its arrival was long over due.

He added that the focus of the port was to ensure an increase in the volume of exported cargo with room turnaround time. “Some time ago, the exported cargo was as little as 630,000 tonnes per annum and by dint of hard work within last two years GMC has increased to two million tonnes.”

He said it was important that the GMC was collaborating with the GPHA to increase their volume from the two million tonnes to more than four million tonnes.

“It is informative to note that when cargo increases through the port, it means more opportunity for labour and other job opportunities as well as revenue to the state through GPHA and GMC,” he said.

For his part, the Port Operations Manager of GMC, Mr James N.A. Attoh, said: “We will be loading 60,000 tonnes, 70,000 and 100,000 tonnes with monster of a vessel with a depth of more than 17 and 18 meters,” he said.

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