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Global ‘best projects’ award for port project

Home Engineering Engineers, Consulting Engineers & Project Management Global ‘best projects’ award for port project

INFRASTRUCTURE delivery company AECOM has won the ENR Global Best Projects Awards 2021 – Best Airport/Port for Tema Port Expansion Project Phase One in Ghana. The project was submitted in conjunction with China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC).

The annual competition identifies and honours the project teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts of the past year. At least one firm involved in the project must be working outside of its home country. In addition, projects are partially weighted by how globally diverse those teams are.

None of the entries could participate if they had any construction-related fatalities, and construction had to be completed between January 2020 and May 2021. The Tema Port project recorded a lost time accident frequency (LTIFR) rate of 0.04, with 9 794 937 hours worked in total.

AECOM Africa MD Darrin Green said a robust safety culture was established early on in the project between the employer, engineer and contractors. Close cooperation between all parties and common project wide HSE protocols were vital in supporting the objectives of the shareholders and main funder the International Finance Corporation. This, he said, resulted in an excellent track record in terms of health, safety, environment and social performance.

“At AECOM, we embrace and enable better collaboration through our diverse teams and international nature. Our ‘Think and Act Globally’ strategy sets a new standard of excellence and is focused on extending AECOM’s industry-leading, global expertise to projects around the world,” Green said.

The Tema Port Expansion Project Phase One comprised a truly multinational team, including the Ghanaian client (French and Dutch shareholders) and AECOM as the multinational project management consultant (employing staff from Ghana, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong).

In addition, the major international contractors CHEC from China and Eiffage from France, the international designers and checking engineers (based in the United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong, China, Ivory Coast and South Africa) and several local sub-contractors and global suppliers all added to the international teamwork.

Managing the procurement of globally sourced long-lead items was a key consideration, with imports coming from Europe, China, Middle East and India. Schedule coordination was imperative to ensure that follow-on contracts were not delayed. A material master list was prepared, tracked and updated to accurately capture all long-lead materials. Collaborative planning between all parties resulted in quick alignment on the project goals, with essential elements prioritised for completion to meet the client’s operational needs.

More than 4,000 people worked on the project, of which over 90% were Ghanaians. “Having been exposed to international construction standards, health, safety and environmental systems, this project will certainly leave a legacy. The staff returning to the Ghanaian labour market have gained skills and training to further develop themselves and contribute to the growth of the economy,” said Green.

Located about 30 km from the capital city of Accra and along the Gulf of Guinea, Tema Port is home to around 70% of Ghana’s major container and port handling traffic. The container terminal has been operated by Meridian Port Services (MPS) since 2007. In June 2015, an agreement between the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and MPS was signed to develop a new harbour and container terminal.

The new project is located adjacent to the old port and has been designed to provide enough draft and modern container-handling equipment to accept and service the largest container vessels operating on global trade routes. The new port can accommodate vessels with a capacity of 22,000 TEUs, a major increase from the 5 000 at the old port. The new terminal significantly increases Ghana’s container-handling capacity to around 3.7 million TEU per year from 800,000.

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