History of the harbour
The construction of the harbour was proposed by the British who ruled the Gold Coast before its independence. An old fishing village called Torman was the proposed site for the harbour's construction. The rapid industrialization that followed Ghana's independence led to the town adopting the name Tema from that of the fishing village. After independence, under the leadership of Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah, the construction of the harbour began in the 1950s and was commissioned in 1962.
Area of the harbour
The harbour lies along the Gulf of Guinea and is 18 miles from Accra, the capital of Ghana. The harbour has a water-enclosed area of 1.7 million square metres and covers a total land area of 3.9 million square metres. The harbour lies on a 410 acres (166 hectares) of sea. The harbour has 5 kilometres of breakwaters, 12 deepwater berths, one oil-tanker berth, one dockyard, warehouses, and transit sheds. In the east of the lee breakwater is a fishing harbour with cold-storage and marketing facilities that handles fishing processing.
The harbour serves both as a loading and unloading port for goods. It also serves as a major transit point for goods from land-locked countries to the north of Ghana. It also handles trade for industrial and commercial companies that import and export various goods such as petroleum, cement, food, metals, textiles.
The port has a wide range of industrial and commercial companies, producing or handling among other goods petroleum products, cement, food items, iron and steel, aluminium products and textiles. Most of the country’s chief export, cacao, is shipped from Tema. The harbour handles 80% of Ghana's national exports and imports.
Tema Harbour expansion
The Tema Harbour and Port of Tema is undergoing an expansion and investment of $115 million in infrastructural upgrading at the Tema harbour and port of Tema as part of efforts aimed at expanding facilities of Tema port to meet rising cargo traffic by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA); and in which the expansion and investment will go into the purchase and instalment of cranes, reach-stackers, ship to shore cranes, among others. The harbour upgrades will improve the cargo-handling capacity of the Tema harbour and port; and the amount of freight will continue to rise as Ghana’s economy maintains its high rate of growth, with expansion tipped to come in at just under 8% in 2013.
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