Multiple discoveries of oil off the coast of West Ghana since 2010 have led to a significant increase in oil production. This growth requires an ever-increasing level of support from ports and Offshore Supply Vessels. Lonrho PLC realised that the existing port facilities were congested, outdated and badly located. They decided to invest in a brand-new port designed to support the growing oil industry in Ghana and further afield. One of the main requirements for the new site was that it should provide adequate space for offshore construction support and rig repair and maintenance.
Initially, Royal HaskoningDHV completed a full feasibility and site selection study. Subsequently the main piece of work was to develop the layout of the port at the chosen location as well as develop a design. The layout and design were developed using a range of resources and data, including site data collection (surveys), and modelling studies. These culminated in the development of a Front-End Engineering Design, and the associated tender documentation for Marine Works Contractors. An innovative tender procedure in two stages accelerated the bid process and obtained the most economical bids from contractors. Royal HaskoningDHV submitted the final project documentation package within six months – a significant achievement considering that the usual lead time for similar projects is almost double that.
As well as a great result for the client, this project also presents multiple benefits for the region. Many new job opportunities are set to be created in what is an underdeveloped region of Ghana, and significant work was undertaken to ensure that the project is properly embedded and accepted within the local community. The structure of the port will adhere to strict environmental regulations, mitigating any negative impact on the environment. Regional infrastructure would be improved and upgraded, and the Ghanaian economy as a whole would benefit thanks to the continued growth of the oil industry. Royal HaskoningDHV continued to support the client in a range of activities, including contractor selection, and was set to supervise construction following the final go-ahead. The selected contractor actually carried out a range of “early works” such as opening a quarry and carrying out geotechnical investigations.
Unfortunately, due to changes in the ownership of Lonrho PLC, the project was cancelled in 2017 after all government approvals as well as full financing were obtained. It is hoped that the project may be transferred to another owner who will develop the terminal.