By Maxwell Nkansah
Commercial operations have begun at the ultra-modern liquid bulk terminal (LBT) at the Port of Takoradi following the arrival of a 183.09-meter tanker vessel. The tanker vessel, GH Parks, has berthed at West Africa’s deepest liquid bulk terminal to discharge 9,500 metric tonnes of gas oil.The new liquid bulk terminal was commissioned by the Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, 11 months ago.It measures 303 meters and operates at a depth of -14 meters, making it the deepest oil jetty in West Africa.
This new terminal offloads and discharges products via five separate marine loading arms designed for diesel, petrol, LPG, bitumen and heavy fuel.Each marine loading arm is able to discharge products at a record time of 1200 cubic per hour.The new oil terminal is operated by Marshal Oil and Gas services, a subsidiary of IBISTEK, a wholly owned Ghanaian company.
Deputy Operations Manager at Marshal Oil and Services Stephen Nana Addo explained that significant improvements have been made at the new oil jetty to make the Port of Takoradi competitive.According to him they had some environmental problems using this method. But now, they had introduced the marine loading arms. In terms of safety there has been significant improvement. They would now no longer need human intervention to do the connection which was the situation at the old jetty. The new jetty discharges 1200 cubic per hour.
Marketing and Public Relations Officer at the Port of Takoradi Peter Amo Bediako stated the new operating depth of -14 means vessels with lower draft that hitherto were not calling at the port can come and go with ease. He said there was no way this vessel could have berthed at the old jetty. Not only will the new jetty give them leverage to handle bigger vessel and bigger volumes but it will also have a positive effect on our revenue.
He further explained that of much significance is the remarkable improvement in the turnaround time at the new jetty. But the turnaround time has increased triple-fold here at the new jetty, he said so because, the loading situation at the old jetty was that everything was done manually, but over there everything is automated. The vessel is to discharge 9500 metric tonnes of gas oil. And it will take between 9 to 10 hours, all things being equal. He however said, if it were at the old jetty, this vessel could not have berthed. Again, even if they had brought this product in a smaller vessel, it would have taken them about 2 to 3 days to discharge. And this is a disincentive to businesses.