The Meridian Port Services Limited (MPS) has taken delivery of the first financing package of the required financing to execute the Tema Port expansion project.
An amount of $100 million from the $667 million project financing package arranged by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has been received by MPS Limited to invest into the ongoing project.
This forms part of IFC shareholders commitment to enable the construction of the ultra-modern port facility at Tema in the Greater Accra Region, which would help Ghana to expand trade flows and links across the West Africa sub-region.
The immediate cash flow need of the $1.5 billion port development is $1 billion. The MPS Limited has signed a $667 million project financing package arranged by the IFC, while the MPS shareholders provide the rest of the funding as fresh equity amounting to $333 million.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MPS Limited, Mohamed Samara, indicated that the secured financial package will progress the development of the port.
According to him, the $100 million is the first drawdown from the IFC financing package and follows the fulfilment of the shareholders commitment to the project financing.
He said, “The construction works are progressing well and the commercial go-live on June 28th 2019 remains the target.”
Mr Samara explained that his outfit is executing the project within the GPHA master plan for the development of Tema Port, and building upon its success and achievements under the Concession Agreement that was granted in 2004.
The massive expansion of Tema Port’s capacity and infrastructure project, he mentioned, will allow Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container vessels and improve cargo handling services and capacity.
Mr Samara pointed out that the last development at the Ghana’s largest port will enhance the port’s competitiveness and position it as a leading maritime hub in the West African region.
For his part, Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire, IFC country manager for Ghana, revealed that IFC provided significant financing for the Tema Port expansion to deepen the role which the private sector is playing in the development of Ghana.
He reiterated that improved infrastructure is critical to encouraging trade, economic growth and job creation.
Meanwhile, the IFC is the largest global development institution specialising in private sector investment in emerging markets.
The financing package for the construction of a new Port in Tema represents IFC’s largest port investment and biggest infrastructure mobilisation 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, Standard Bank, as well as the Dutch development bank, FMO.
From Vincent Kubi, Tema