The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has commissioned three new tugboats as part of its strategies to attract larger vessels and enhance the turnaround time of vessels at the Port of Tema.
The state of the art ASD tugboats, which are the first of its kind in Central and West Africa are of 80 tonnes bollard pull capacity and capable of performing firefighting and rescue functions.
The boats were named after Commander K.T Dovlo, Ben Owusu-Mensah and Josephine Asante who have exhibited exemplary character and contributed immensely to the development of the organization and the country at large.
Commander K.T Dovlo and Ben Owusu-Mensah both served as Director Generals of GPHA from 1994 to 1998 and from 2001 for 2008 respectively.
The late Josephine Asante, at the time of her passing on was the Marketing and Public Affairs Manager for Tema Port.
The Director General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, during the ceremony said the boats were commissioned to enhance GPHA’s capacity to be able to receive modern container vessels and bulk carriers.
“Over the years we’ve had different capacities of marine craft. The biggest we ever had was 60 tonnes but these ones are 80 tonnes bollard pull capacity crafts and with those ones we can handle up to even 20,000 TEUs container vessels,” he said.
The DG of GPHA expressed pleasure of being at the helm of affairs during the honouring of the three former illustrious staff of the Authority who according to him, he had the opportunity to work closely with.
“I had to opportunity to experience the two former DG’s at very close range and in experiencing one of the DGs who I worked closely with, I had the opportunity to work within close range with the third personality. We say congratulations. It is truly an honour.”
He also charged the Marine Operations of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to do their utmost best to handle the tugboats for it to last longer and harness its potentials and capacities to enable the port business to grow.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of GPHA, Peter Mac-Manu, said Ghana Ports account for 80% of Ghana’s trade and as part of its capacity development strategies, the Tema and Takoradi ports have embarked on major expansions project to continue to serve the cross-section of the Ghanaian market and beyond.
“These tugboats are expected to enhance the revenue position of the Authority. They are also expected to assist in the daily safe operations of the Authority as well as enhancing the turnaround time of vessels calling at the port,” he stated.
He also touted some significant functions the tugboats the tugboats will be performing.
“It is instructive to note that in line with the MARPOL Convention the vessels have the capacity to arrest pollution before it spreads to other areas of concern. Stakeholders will indeed find these facilities very useful,” he revealed.
The distinguished individuals who were honoured and their representatives commended the management and staff of GPHA for appreciating and immortalizing their efforts.
“My family and I are very much delighted for the honour,” Commander T.K Dovlo said.