Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday launched construction of the $330 million Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal (BILT) project near Kumasi.
Initiated by the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) in the 1990s and previously called the Boankra Inland Port, the BILT project was purposed to create a dry port as an extension to the Tema Port.
The project, which will be completed in 2023, is expected to increase the movement of goods and services in the country and also facilitate transit trade between Ghana and the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
After 18 years lull in getting a concessionaire for the BILT, the Ashanti Port Services Limited, a consortium of Afum Quality Limited of Ghana and DSS Associate of South Korea, finally won the bid to bring life to the project. The concession agreement will last for 30 years including a 3-year construction period for the development of various project facilities on a 413-acre land in Boankra.
The BILT is an ultra-modern integrated logistics terminal consisting of a Container Service Yard (CSY), Container Freight Station (CFS), Reefer, Warehouses, Truck Parking Area, Trucker’s Facilities, Fuel Station, Commercial Complex, Freight Forwarders Offices, and facilities for postal, telecommunication, utilities services, among others.
Addressing the sod-cutting ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would be buoyed by the construction of the BILT which will ensure “ an effective and efficient transport system , especially as Ghana is playing host to the Secretariat.”
The President was hopeful that the BILT “and other similar infrastructure projects, such as the development of the Keta Port, the Tema-Akosombo Railway Line, and the ongoing port expansion projects in Tema and Takoradi Ports, would make a positive contribution in ensuring that Ghana derives maximum benefits from the AfCFTA.”
The Minister of Transport, Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah commended the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for the instrumental role he played in securing the land for the project, particularly in helping to address the litigation challenges that followed its acquisition.
For her part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck, among others, paid tribute to the two former CEOs of the GSA, Mr. Magnus Teye Addico and Dr. Kofi Mbiah, for their past contributions which have culminated into the current state of the Boankra Integrated Logistics Terminal.