Professional and technical services firm AECOM will oversee the construction of the Tema Port expansion project, in Ghana, for Meridian Port Services (MPS), operator of the container terminal at the existing adjacent port. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
AECOM is contracted to provide the design and procurement management services prior to the award of construction contracts, after which it will supervise the construction of all port expansion facilities.
“This prestigious project is an important validation of AECOM’s strategy to pursue future growth in Africa,” CE for Africa Carlos Poñe comments. He adds that AECOM’s competitive advantage on the continent is its ability to deliver fully integrated projects, from design to handover, such as the Tema Port expansion project.
“The project – which began last year – will support most sectors, but will have the greatest impact on consumer goods, manufacturing, utilities, energy, telecoms, agriculture and health. The expansion will improve access to foreign markets and bolster export businesses that ship products in containers,” AECOM project director Ozgur Balaban adds.
According to estimates from QBIS, a consultancy specialising in assessing the socioeconomic impacts of corporate performance, the new port development will increase the revenues of Ghana’s import and export companies.
The consultancy indicates that it will lead to as much as a $1.1-billion rise in gross value added to the Ghanaian economy and as many as 350 000 to 450 000 new jobs across trade and industries.
The project is being financed by an injection of fresh equity by the MPS shareholders and supplemented by a loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.
Marine works contractor China Harbour Engineering Company is progressing well with construction of the breakwater, which currently projects some 500 m into the sea.
The expansion project will increase the port’s current container capacity to about 3.5-million twenty-foot equivalent units a year. It will also enable the port to accommodate some of the world’s deepest draft container ships and improve the efficiency of cargo-handling services.
“Subsequently, this will enhance the port’s competitiveness as a leading maritime hub in West Africa,” says Balaban.
The expanded harbour will comprise a 4-km-long breakwater, a dredged 19-m-deep port access channel and a new 1.4-km-long quay giving four container berths of 16-m depth.
“Owing to the size and complexity of the Tema project, our team includes highly experienced port project management professionals from AECOM’s global organisation,” Balaban explains.
The professional team currently includes design manager Richard Cox; interface manager David Hanly; project controls manager Martin de Beer; construction manager MS Lee; senior engineer for dredging and reclamation Johan Nasmark; health and safety manager Jean-Paul Geyer and quality manager Rajesh Kochuparambil.
However, the number of professionals working on this project is increasing as a result of an increase in construction activity on site.
“These port specialists will work with our local Ghanaian specialists, who are well qualified in project controls, contract administration, construction management and environmental management. We have a truly multinational staff, representing nine nations and five continents,” says AECOM ports and marine director for the EMIA region Martin Mannion.
This is another example, he adds, of AECOM working with governments and global clients, such as APM Terminals and Bolloré, to deliver megaport projects which benefit nations and improve trade.
Port Construction and Improvements
AECOM plans, engineers and oversees construction for some of the largest port and marine facilities globally.
AECOM’s planners and specialists work closely with its clients, using data on current port operations and facilities, together with computer models, to analyse the outcome of possible scenarios to improve port operations and maintenance, port equipment, port facility layout and staffing.
“When our clients decide to carry out a capital project, our design engineers and architects prepare the designs and contracts, which are optimised in collaboration with the client. We assess the cost and time required to implement the project, as well as the risks involved and the disruption to ongoing operations,” notes Balaban.
He says that, on major port projects, the design costs are small, compared with the capital costs of construction.
“Our clients carefully consider the timing, phasing and extent of the executed works. Once the project receives the go-ahead, our design and construction management team works to prepare detailed designs and tender documents to find a qualified contractor at a competitive price.”
AECOM works with a broad spectrum of clients, including public and private owners, as well as tenants of ports and marine terminals. Its range of maritime developments include container, liquid and dry bulk terminals, waterfront developments, cruise and ferry terminals, recreational marinas and military installations.