THE government has begun discussion with Aker Energy and other related entities to help develop the Tema Shipyard and Drydock into a world-class facility.
The discussions highlighted plans to develop the Tema Drydock Shipyard in line with the President’s vision to ensure Ghana develops a shipbuilding, and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO), capacity.
Consequently, the Minister of Transport, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, who led the government delegation, had series of extensive discussions with Aker and other related entities at Norway, in a bid to secure an investor to develop the facility.
A statement issued on February 14 by the Ministry of Finance expressed the government’s commitment to engage the services of a strategic investor in 2019 to upgrade the Tema Shipyard and Drydock.
The upgrade is to enable the facility to undertake ship repairs and refitting, shipbuilding, aluminium and steel fabrication as well as metal and general engineering services.
The government is the sole shareholder of PSC Tema Shipyard Company, which operates Tema Shipyard.
Mr Asiamah, at a different fora, explained that the shipyard which had over the years been in a state of underdevelopment with obsolete equipment required a strategic partner to rehabilitate and upgrade it to ensure that it contributed significantly to the government’s integrated bauxite and aluminium project.
He recounted that the shipyard facility was built in the 1960s by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, to promote the aluminium and related fabrication industry at the shipyard.
The shipyard was, therefore, to function in the main areas of fabrication, ship repair and eventually ship building by utilising aluminium products, among others, when it became fully functional, he said.
Mr Asiamah said the government considered the shipyard as a strategic national asset, which if developed, could contribute significantly to the oil and gas industry as well.
The minister explained that stage one of the bidding selection process, which involved the evaluation of investor qualification statements, had been completed, while stage two, which was ongoing, also involved the submission of detailed proposals from the six shortlisted firms from stage one.
About Tema Shipyard
But the shipyard was established in 1965 by the government of Ghana during the construction of the Tema Harbour as part of the overall infrastructure requirement for Ghana’s maritime industry.
It was originally designed to be the largest dock between the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and the southern tip of Europe. It is located on a 48. 45-acre land, adjacent to the Port of Tema with two docks (100,000 depth weight and 10,000 depth weight) drydocking capacity.
Having existed for decades, it has built for itself an enviable reputation by delivering high-quality and timely shipyard and drydocking services in a healthy, safe and clean environment and at competitive tariffs.
The shipyard is also developing its people for the continuous growth of its company and progress of society.
Over the years, the company’s operations have been directed at crafting value for the country’s esteemed stakeholders.
With the discovery of more oil fields and port expansion projects in the West Africa sub-region, the shipyard has no option but to ensure irreversible improvement in its strategies so as to meet the expectations of its stakeholders.