The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has commissioned two new Damen tugboats to add to its tugboat fleet as part of its efforts to improve marine operations at Ghana’s ports.
The two heavy-duty tugboats, which can berth any post-panamax vessel, were named after two previous Port Authority Directors General, Group Captain (Rtd) Edward Alexander A. Awuviri and Nestor Percy Galley.
They are expected to play an important role in guaranteeing the efficiency and safety of Ghana’s marine activities, as well as contributing to the nation’s wealth and advancement.
Delivering an address at a ceremony to commission the tugboats, a Deputy Minister of Transport, Alhassan Tampuli who represented the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said with the expansion at Terminal 3 at the Port of Tema and ongoing initiatives to bring in some of the world’s largest merchant ships, it is useful to expand the port’s marine operational capabilities.
He said for Ghana to compete favourably in today’s maritime space, infrastructure and modern equipment must be provided, and that is what government set out to support and encourage since taking office.
“These will also provide numerous benefits that will accrue to both clients and service providers. Such magnitude of investment will translate into having more business from clients, ensuring quick turnaround time for vessels, while enhancing GPHA’s capacity to be able to receive modern container vessels and bulk carriers,” he averred.
The Board Chairman of GPHA, Isaac Osei said the commissioning of tugboats coupled with the massive expansion works at the Port of Takoradi, lay credence to the premium the government places on the enhancement and improvement of infrastructure in the ports.
“In a world where maritime safety is paramount, it is additionally vital to know that these tugboats have in-built fire-fighting apparatus to help in the mitigation of fire incidents,” he said.
By investing in these powerful and versatile tugboats, he noted that GPHA is not only addressing the current needs of the ports, but also future-proofing its maritime capabilities to accommodate the evolving demands of the shipping industry.
The Director-General of GPHA, Michael Luguje paid glowing tributes to the two former Directors General for the strength, resilience, and dedication to duty they exhibited during their tenure.
“These tug boats, by their very nature, embody strength, resilience, and the ability to navigate challenges – qualities that parallel the esteemed individuals they are named after.
As we commission the “Group Captain (Rtd) Edward A.A. Awuviri” and the “Nestor P. Galley” into service today, let us not only celebrate the technological prowess of these boats but also recognize the dedication and sacrifice that underlie their construction and operation,” he stated.
The honourees expressed their gratitude to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for recognizing their contribution to the Port Authority.