Ghana 2023 Budget Review: Updates On Key Projects
Ghana's finance minister delivered a mid-year budget review on 31 July.
Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta provided an update on key investment projects in his 2023 mid-year budget review delivered on 31 July.
Development of the 97km Tema-Mpakadan railway line is about 98% complete and scheduled to be finished by the end of September. The line forms part of a multi-modal transportation system to move cargo from Tema Port to Buipe Port. Other components of the project have already been completed including an operational control centre, maintenance facility and railway stations at Tema Harbour, Tema Industrial Area, Ashaiman, Afienya, Shai Hills, Doryumu, Kordiabe, Kpong and Juapong.
A 900m road-over bridge at Afienya and a 300m railway bridge over the Volta River between Senchi and Old Akrade have also been completed. Two railheads are being constructed as part of the project: one at Tema Port which connects to the cargo terminals, and the other at the Mpakadan Terminal which provides connectivity to Lake Volta to facilitate the haulage of containerised cargo and other bulk commodities from the southern sector to the northern sector and further to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
Two Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains for operations on the Tema-Mpakadan railway line will be delivered by the fourth quarter of this year. Inspection and acceptance tests will be undertaken in November.
The minister provided updates on projects two and four of Ghana’s Integrated Aluminium Industry Project Masterplan. Under project 2, the local Rocksure International has been engaged to develop a mine at Nyinahin-Mpasaaso and a refinery. The company completed prospecting drilling in 2022 and has now finished the Mineral Resource Estimate Report. The report indicates significant findings which show an appreciation in the historical bauxite estimates and forms the basis for the development of a refinery solution.
As for project four, PWC is leading the process to find a strategic investor for Volta Aluminium Company Limited (VALCO). Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) – the entity holding VALCO’s shares on behalf of the government – announced in April it was going to market to identify and engage a strategic partner to support the modernisation of the smelter. The aim is now to find an investor by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
The national electricity access rate as of mid-2023 was 88.85%. Grid Company of Ghana is continuing to upgrade the transmission system with key projects including the 330kV Awodua-Prestea line and the 330/225kV Prestea substation project.
The finance minister reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to developing nuclear power and stated that Nuclear Power Ghana has commenced stakeholder engagement to facilitate the acquisition of the preferred site for a nuclear power plant. Shortlisted vendors have been engaged to identify “economical and resilient” technology.
Special economic zones
Construction of the first phase of offsite infrastructure for the Greater Kumasi Industrial City and Special Economic Zone is expected to begin before the end of the year. Ghana Free Zones Authority is also planning to develop a 1,600-acre parcel of land at Yabiw/Shama in the Western Region into a multi-purpose industrial park.
Construction of the National Aquaculture Centre was completed in June. The facility will demonstrate proven technologies such as aquaponics and recirculation systems to increase productivity in the sector and will train 200 people over four years to boost local fish production. The Ghana National Aquaculture Development Plan has been finalised and is awaiting cabinet approval. It will be the blueprint for all strategic development and investments in the aquaculture sector and has set a target of producing 210,000 tonnes of farmed fish by 2028.
Civil works on phase 1 of the Anomabo Fisheries College is complete.
The minister confirmed that phase 1 of the 27.7km Accra-Tema Motorway and Extension Project will be procured and executed as a public-private partnership (PPP) using a Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund special purpose vehicle. The project involves transforming the Accra-Tema Motorway into a four–lane expressway with a three-lane service road in both directions and interchanges at Old Lashibi (Ashaiman under-bridge), Community 18 and the Teshie link. It also involves remodelling the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange. The Concession Agreement and draft Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement have been finalised.
Regarding La Beach Road Project along the Accra-Tema Beach Road, Lot 1 is 79% complete and Lot 2 is 89% finished as of June.
The Kumasi Lake Road and Drainage Extension project is 98% complete, while works on Selected Roads in Sekondi and Takoradi Phase 1 is 21% complete.
The Tema-Akosombo Road project, which involves the development of 64km of roads with interchanges at Ashaiman Roundabout and Asutsuare Junction, is 16% complete.
The widening of the Nsawam-Ofankor Road to 10 lanes with a six-lane expressway and four-lane service road with interchanges at Amasaman, Pobiman, Medie and Nsawam junctions is at 26%.
Work on a 17km section of the Tema-Aflao Road involving the construction of two-lane, one-way service roads on either side of the main carriageway, and the construction of four interchanges at Kpone Barrier, Savannah, Dawhenya and Prampram is 30% complete.
Works are also ongoing on several other national trunk roads to improve capacity. The Tamale-Walewale Phase 1 (Savelugu to Walewale) and Dome-Kitase projects are 10% and 16% complete, respectively. The reconstruction of Bechem-Techimantia-Akomadan Road and Agona Nkwanta-Tarkwa Road are at 64% and 34%, respectively.
Work on the 31.2km Assin Fosu-Assin Praso portion of the National Trunk Road N8 (Phase 2) was completed in June, while phase 2 of the Obetsebi Lamptey Circle Interchange and other ancillary works are now 86% complete. Phase 1 of the Tema Motorway Roundabout has been finished and phase 2, which involves the construction of the third tier of the interchange, has started. Construction of the flyover over the Accra-Tema Motorway from the Flowerpot Roundabout is progressing.
The project to build 50 prefabricated bridges across all 16 regions is 86% complete as at the end of June. The design, fabrication, and delivery of 87 steel panel bridges is ongoing, with 45 bridges already delivered. The new bridge at Twifo Praso to separate vehicular traffic from the railway line is 93% complete.
Regarding the projects being implemented under the Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) with Sinohydro Corporation, the following updates were given:
The minister reiterated throughout his budget speech that Ghana has finally turned a corner economically after a challenging few years.
"It is no exaggeration to say we cannot find another period in our history where so many different headwinds hit our economy at the same time. Thankfully, and as many Hon. Members of the House have indicated to me in our engagements, we have turned the corner," he said.
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Photo: Accra (©Wirestock | Dreamstime)