A consortium, including the African Development Bank, has signed an agreement to extend $94 million in senior debt funding to PMD Assetco Limited (PMD) for the construction and operation of a floating dock ship repair facility in Ghana’s western Takoradi port.

Other consortium members are the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB), and Petra Pension Schemes.

With this milestone, the project, nicknamed “Shiprite,” has secured the total commitment of all providers for the required $137 million in capital. When completed, the facility will house a new 13,500-ton lift-capacity floating drydock, 30,000 square meters of reclaimed land, a 200-meter jetty, a modern workshop, offices, and heavy marine equipment.

Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-African Trade and Export Development Bank, Afreximbank, emphasized the project’s strategic significance: “The strategic location of this facility will provide shipowners whose vessels trade within the Gulf of Guinea with world-class repair and maintenance services. As the Mandated Lead Arranger, we are confident that Shiprite will enhance intra-African trade and foster regional economic growth and integration. By providing services that would have otherwise been lost to foreign shipyard repair facilities, the interventions of Prime Meridian Docks will retain much-needed foreign currency within the continent."

The strategic location of this facility will provide shipowners whose vessels trade within the Gulf of Guinea with world-class repair and maintenance services

Mike Salawou, Director for Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development at the African Development Bank, highlighted the socio-economic benefits. “With over 400 new jobs expected to be created, of which more than 15% will be reserved for youth and women, the socio-economic impact of Project Shiprite is a compelling proposition for the Bank”.

Michael Awori, Chief Executive of TDB, said: “TDB is pleased to co-finance Project Shiprite, a ground-breaking project in West Africa which will enable considerable cost and time savings for shipowners in need of maintenance and repair solutions in proximity and in line with international standards, thereby enhancing the efficiency of their operations. Ship owners with operations in several countries in the region need to travel up to 5,500 km away in some cases to obtain the same services. The project will reduce the carbon footprint of shipowner operations as a result, in addition to generating forex, boosting the local economy, creating jobs, and improving infrastructure and logistics in Ghana, which became a TDB Member State in 2022.”

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Chris Hammond, Chairman of the Boards of the Petra Advantage and Petra Opportunity Pension Schemes, said, “The participation of the Petra Pension Schemes in Project Shiprite represents a pioneering move by these pension funds into Project Finance and Infrastructure fund investments. This initiative supports the broader diversification agenda of the schemes and the wider local pensions industry.”

Jobalo Oshikanlu, Deputy CEO of ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund, PMD’s long-standing development and equity partner, remarked: “We are proud to reach this milestone, having worked through the years with yet another resilient African sponsor in overcoming the bankability challenges in what promises to be a game-changing piece of infrastructure in the region.”

Stanley Raja Korshie Ahorlu, the project’s Lead Sponsor, affirmed, “PMD Assetco is poised to commence the construction of both the civil works and the floating dock and looks forward to entering the market timeously to support shipowners in the region as international shipping works towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

PMD is a Ghanaian ship repair company with Free Zones Service Enterprise status and a 25-year concession from the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. The company has benefited from the support of international partners and advisers over the past years.

Source: African Development Bank


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Issue 91 of Robban Assafina

(May/ June 2024)


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