The African Development Bank has approved a $23.04 million loan to Prime Meridian Docks Asset Co Ltd (PMD), a special purpose entity to co-finance the construction of a modern floating dock ship repair facility in Ghana’s western Takoradi port.

The Board of the bank also authorized the syndication, on a “best efforts basis”, of additional financing of up to $11 million.

The loan will support PMD to design, build, operate and maintain a world-class ship repair and maintenance facility in the Gulf of Guinea under a 25-year concession granted to the company by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

The total project is estimated to cost $137 million it is said, and will involve constructing a 200-meter jetty, dredging 300,000 cubic meters of rock in the port basin, and procuring and installing a 13,500-tonne lift capacity floating dock.

The ship repair facility will also have offices, a warehouse, mechanical workshops for steel and pipe fabrication, electrical works, blasting and painting, and equipment maintenance.

“Vessel repair and maintenance is an underserved market on the continent. Investing in it will provide a more holistic approach to supporting maritime transport and its sustainability, which will accelerate regional integration and attract international trade and economic activity,” said Mike Salawou, Director for Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development of the African Development Bank to their approval.

Furthermore, the bank also stated that the finance for the project will enable it to create over 400 permanent jobs – 15% of which are expected to go to women, and that the project further aligns with the national ambition of Ghana to become a hub for shipping and petroleum operations in West Africa. By enhancing the supply of maritime maintenance and repair services, the project will help minimize transport and logistic costs and time, resulting in increased mobility and connectivity and boosting Ghana’s competitiveness.