Ghana is set to attract more ship repair and maintenance works with the coming on board of Prime Meridian Dock.
The privately owned facility at the Takoradi port will focus on merchant ships and rigs.
The edifice is aimed at ships in the range of 150-200 meters inland.
Currently many of such vessels and rigs sail to Las Palmas in Spain for servicing.
The first phase of the project saw the launching of its new offices at Takoradi Port on August 28, 2017.
Their operation will support the Tema Ship Yard and Takoradi Dry Dog Company in ship repairing and maintenance works.
Constructing a 200 meter floating dock and other adjoining facilities as part of the project will cost about $70 million.
Out of the amount, $55 million will be foreign direct investment while the remaining is raised locally.
When completed, the facility will constitute 3.03 % of the transports sectors contribution to national GDP.
The company will contribute 0.07% directly to national GDP.
The first phase of the project will see the securing of all financial commitment by December 2017.
The business is expected to potentially generate an annual revenue of 30 million USD, which will translate to a 23% return-on-investment for its investors over the agreed period of their investment.
The Free Zone Company is hopeful that incentives provided by government will aid it compete globally by providing competitive prices.
The Facility has been strategically positioned close to where the vessels work to cut down their cost and also enhance efficiency.
The facility would enable ships, rigs and supply vessels that operate in the Gulf of Guinea at the port to repair any fault they might encounter, making the port an oil services hub in West Africa.
It is hoped that the company under the Free Zone agreement will generate enough revenue to support government operations.
“We are a ship repair and maintenance yard. We are at the very early stages of establishing and building our facility. We are exporting ship repair and maintenance services; that’s what we do. To be able to export those services in a highly competitive environment, you have to be competitive yourself in terms service quality and in terms of pricing.
“If you have a Free Zone facility that enables you to sell those services export services in a very competitive way in terms of cost and pricing then it’s a very good start point for you,” the Managing Director, Stanley R.K Ahorlu told Starr Business’ Osei Owusu Amankwaah.
Among the other incentives the Ghana Free Zone Board provided a 10 year tax free period.
Mr. Ahorlu added that, “Tax free for 10 years allowed us to attract business that otherwise would have gone to other competitors outside Ghana.”
The company when in full operation will provide 300-400 Direct Jobs.
Thousands will gain employment indirectly.
Firms that are supporting the construction of the facility include; African Development Bank (AfDB), PROPARCO, ARM Harris, RIGMA, Atwood Oceanic, Ghana Port and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
With a 25 year concession from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, an equity shareholder in the business, the yard is located strategically in the port of Takoradi, making it the only yard in its category closest to the oil fields of Ghana and Ivory Coast, and about one to three sailing days from ships trading within the West African sub-region.
Ghana’s relative socio-political and economic stability makes the location of the yard an attractive proposition to ship and rig owners.