Albert Touna-Mama, a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by the Resident Representative in Ghana, visited Meridian Port Services Ltd and the Port Expansion Project..
The official visit was to provide a greater perspective of the general digitalization of Tema port operations, specifically the paperless process.
Welcoming the team, the CEO of Meridian Port Services Ltd, Mohamed Samara promoted the successes achieved by the company over the past decade and described him as one of the most successful Private Public Partnership (PPP) models in Ghana, where An important infrastructure project was financed through public-private partnerships. MPS is a joint venture between Ghana Ports & Harbors Authority and two of the world-renowned port operators APM Terminal and Bollore Transport & Logistics.
For the IMF's research on project financing, the CEO of MPS opined that the Shareholders chose to go with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. IFC is the largest global development institution specializing in private sector investments in emerging markets.
The immediate need for cash flow for the Tema Port Expansion Project was USD 1 billion. MPS secured a $ 667 million project financing package organized by the IFC, while MPS shareholders provided the rest of the funds as new capital in the amount of $ 333 million.
The financing package for the construction of a new port in Tema represents IFC's largest port investment and the largest infrastructure mobilization to date in sub-Saharan Africa. It includes $ 195 million from the IFC's own account and $ 472 million from three commercial banks: the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the Standard Bank, as well as the Dutch development bank FMO.
Mr. Samara stated that "The investment of MPS is a testimony of the realization of the vision of GHANA BEYOND AID of HE. President Akufo-Addo. In addition, MPS is preparing to meet the long-term goal of His Excellency for Ghana to become a thriving emerging market economy, one that has the capacity to take full advantage of Ghanaians, young and old, rich and poor, here in Greater Accra and throughout this nation. "
The MPS Senior Management Team led the delegation through a presentation covering background and future development, demonstrating how MPS, from its inception, has pushed the borders to establish the most efficient port in the West and Central Africa region. .
MPS has been without paper since the beginning of its operations with the introduction of its new terminal operating system (TOS) NAVIS-4, which has subsequently been updated in recent years. The terminal also introduced the berthing system, thus reducing the anchor time, which translates into a gigantic reduction in transport costs.
The CEO of MPS hinted that the Port Congestion Surcharge applied previously has been eliminated, which saves huge sums of money to the Ghanaian economy and improves the cost of doing business in the Port of Tema. In addition, he stated that the freight rate from the Far East to Tema is at least USD1,000 less than that of Lagos and several other ports.
Few videos were shown, including a virtual disk through the new facility, which is equipped with the most advanced technology and in full compliance with the Government's efficiency boost with processes without secure papers that safeguard the collection of national income.
Since the presentation of the meeting room, the IMF team toured the Terminal to get a real idea of what was seen on the virtual disk through the video. Mark Nolet, project manager, featured "What we have here is an installation that is equipped with the best of gantry cranes and technology; These include direct access scanners, biometric access control, closed circuit television, radio frequency identification (RFID), optical character recognition (OCR), license plate recognition portal (LPR) and weighbridge "
It was also noted that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) controls delivery processes through the Single Window Platform and generates the verdict subsequent to scanning.
MPS anticipates that this new Terminal-3 is an investment in the right direction that will drive the free trade agenda of the continental single market. It will create new routes and direct connections that will give access to entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and prosper.
With the doubling of Ghana's current market capacity in opening the new port facility to 2 million TEUs, the effect of these would be an improvement in the quality and quantity of employment and an increase in tax revenues.
The Port Expansion Theme project continues to be the largest investment made by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in sub-Saharan Africa.
The IMF team was particularly excited to witness the berthing of the first commercial ship, a test ship to begin the test operations of the first phase of the newly completed terminal.
Mr. Albert Touna-Mama, Resident Representative of the IMF in Ghana, congratulated the Executive Director and the Management Team for the impressive development of the port, which, according to his and his team's estimate, was an exciting and revealing event. He added:Visiting the port facilities of MPS gives us great comfort that Ghana is moving in the right direction"