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Tema Port Information

Ships are recommended to send their ETA at least 24 hours in advance to their agent’s office before 14:30 hrs Monday – Friday and 10:00 hrs on Friday for weekend working. Berthing Meetings Monday – Thursday at 10:00 hrs determines berthing arrangement for following day whereas Friday’s meeting coordinates weekend work. Notification of the approach by VHF is essential and Scanship can be contacted on channel 9, 14 or 16.
Kotoka International Airport is located abt. 30 km from Tema, on the Eastern side of Accra.


There is a good anchorage, ¾ to 2 miles ENE to SW off the main entrance with depths of 30 to 60 metres with good holding ground. The area north of 5°21’N and bounded by 00°05’W and 00°08’E is the safe anchorage area off Tema Port.
Quarantine: Lateral 5°21’N and surround by 00°04’W and 00°08’E.

The entrance to the Main Harbour is 240 metres wide with depth of 10.6 metres (Admiralty Chart Datum). Ships entering harbour roll heavily during the wet season, up to 8° at 4-600 metres from entrance. Ghanaian flag to be hoisted.
There are 2 multi-purpose cranes (MPC) each 40 tons (SWL) operating at berths 10,11 and 12 only. (Editor’s note: only 1 MPC is currently working)
US$1 = 1.5 GHC

Cocoa beans and products, cola-nuts, shea and cashew nuts, cotton, handy crafts, glycerine, aluminium, petroleum products, frozen fish, pineapple, fresh yams, other local foods

The port has a well-organized fire unit equipped with modern fire-fighting equipment. The service operates 24 hrs a day and is always present alongside when dangerous cargo is involved.
The Harbour of Tema consists of three basins:
a) The large basin of the main harbour, formed by Main Breakwater 6,250 ft long, and Lee Breakwater 3,650 ft long, enclosing a water area of approx. 430 acres, 12.5m deep.
b) The Outwater Fishing Harbour east of the Lee Breakwater.
c) The Inner Fishing Harbour on the northern side of the former.
In the Main Harbour there are Quay no. 1 and 2 with 12 berths, each 600 ft long (except no. 3 which is 485 ft). Berths around Quay no. 2 are numbered 1-5 and along Quay no. 1 from 6-12. There are lock-up sheds of 342,000 sq. ft opposite each of the berths, except for berths no. 3, 6 and 10. Berth 2 shed accommodates the Customs and Immigration Office.

1 11.5m
2 11.5m
3(Navy) 7.6m
4 9m
5 9m
6(Tugboats) 8m
8 8m
9 8m
10 8m
11 8m
12(Clinker) 8m
13(Oil Jetty) 9.8
12(Valco Jetty) 9.8

* The port is currently undertaking an extension program to be completed by April 2004. New drafts will be confirmed later.
Usually ships moor starboard side alongside at berths no. 1-2 and 6-9 and port side alongside at berths 3-5 and 10-12. At Valco and Oil wharf, always starboard side alongside.

There are 4 cocoa sheds (totaling 272,000 sq. ft) with capacity of 40,000 ts situated in the western corner of the harbour. Cocoa is transported per haulage trucks to alongside loading ship from quayside.

The bottom of the harbour consists of sand and mud, with frequent hard, rocky ground. There are two sets of mooring buoys with depths of 34-36 ft with lengths of 450 and 650 ft between them. Inside the harbour, alongside Lee Breakwater, there is an Oil wharf for tankers. Tankers moor starboard side to the dolphins and ropes are sent to the breakwater and bow-buoy. Crude oil is pumped to a refinery by ships pump, a distance of 18,000 ft north of the Oil wharf.

At a distance of about 2 cables on the same breakwater is the Valco wharf for the aluminum smelter. A narrow channel, 250 ft wide, leads to this berth. The wharf, 380 ft long, has two discharging elevators with conveyor to the deposit shed on the north side of the harbour. The Outer Fishing Harbour consists of one large basin and is designed for big fishing vessels and fish-carriers with 800 ft quay. There are no cranes or sheds built yet. Drafts vary from 4.6 to 5.6 metres.

There are also two buoy berths to take ships with a maximum length of 350’ at 18’6” draft and 25’6”. There is a 16 ft patch at the entrance mid-way between the two ends of the breakwaters. The Inner Fishing Harbour, situated north of the former, has a separate entrance, width only 100 ft with 13’6” draft at the entrance. A dangerous rock with depth of 16 ft is situated opposite the entrance, distance 360 ft of the red entrance light. The Southern part of the main wharf (1,080 ft long) has depth of 12’ to 17’6” and is designed for small size fishing vessels. The maximum recommended draft is 16’6” and maximum ship length 22 ft. Fuel oil is available alongside the wharves. The northern area serves smaller craft, boat-yard and canoes
Port Authorities:


Director General of Port
Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA)
P.O. Box 150
Tel: +233 22 202631-9
Fax: +233 22 202812
Tlx: (094) 2106 ports gh

Tema Port:
P.O. Box 488
Tel: +233 22 204385-8
Fax: +233 22 204136
Tlx: (094) 2344 cargo gh


Consumer goods, machinery, cement, alumina, clinker, smelter supplies, fish, crude oil, tallow and caustic soda.

GPHA hospitals and clinics are available, but serious cases are referred to the Tema General Hospital or Korlebu Teaching Hospital.

Lat. 5°38’N, Long. 0°01’E – abt.. 30 miles east of Accra. Africa West Coast, Gulf of Guinea

Compulsory for vessels of more than 10 NRT when entering, leaving or shifting in the Main Harbour. Optional pilotage available in the Fishing Harbour. Vessels wishing to enter harbour must await the pilot off the harbour entrance, up to 1 mile distance.

Times of pilotage are as follows:
a) Main Harbour - dry cargo vessels:
arrival & departure: 24 hrs a day
b) Main Harbour- tankers & Valco carriers:
arrivals: daylight only 06:00–18:00 hrs
departure: daylight only 06:00–18:00 hrs

New Year’s Day January 1
Independence Day March 6
Good Friday  
Holy Saturday  
Easter Monday  
Labour Day May 1
Republic Day July 1
Christmas Day December 265
Boxing Day December 26
Farmer’s Day First Friday of December
Id-El-Fitr A day after the end of the Moslem fast
Id-El-Adha 3 months after the Ramadan




There is no Coastal Radio Station at Tema, and all radio messages should be sent by Takoradi radio. For communication between the Port Authorities and ships, the Signal Station is equipped with VHF, and 24-hour watch is kept on channels 14 and 16, conversation on channel 14 only (range 70 miles). The signal station can reach vessels 70 miles away. During Harmattan conditions vessels can hear/receive signal up to 200 miles away.


The following documents are required to present upon arrival to Port Health, Immigration and Customs Authorities: Customs, Plant Quarrantine Dept, Vertinary Service & Agent
1 copy Bill of Health (Maritime Bill of Health)
2 copy Vaccination List (with Cholera and Yellow Fever Certificates)
6 copies Crew List
2 copy Crew Declaration List
5 copies Passenger List (or “nil” pass. list)
6 copies Ports of Call List
3 copies Cargo Manifest (in English language only)
3 copies Dangerous Cargo List
2 copy Animal List
2 copy Stowaway List
2 copy Mail & Parcel List
2 copy Bonded Stores List
1 copy Narcotics List
1 copy Arms & Ammunition List
1 copy Port Clearance, visa stamped from last port of call
De-rat Certificate
Photos (Shore passes)

NB: If arriving from other Ghanaian Port, Light Dues Certificate and Transire


Dry dock and slipway facilities provided by PSC Tema Shipyard Ltd. The capacity is 100,000 dwt and measures 277.4 metres long, 4.5 metres wide and depth of 8.2 metres on the still. Also, one ship with capacity 160 tons and one 20 tons. A diving pontoon with 3 divers and crane, 10 tons capacity is available. The graving dock 910 ft long and 150 ft wide has 20 and 60 tons mobile cranes. Depth on sill 26’6”. Flooding and draining time of abt. 2 and 4 hrs respectively.
Work undertaken is machining, welding, copper, sheet metal and joinery work. Least depth in approach 17’9”.
The approach channel is dredged to 5.3 metres chart datum, which will allow a ship of 6.5 metres to enter.


Fresh water: available by pipe on all berths at cost of US$3.95 per ton. Quality is good and under the State’s sanitary control. Rate of supply 30 tons/hour.
Bunker: gas or diesel oil is available and supply is made per tank trucks as per stem order from owners/operators. Fuel oil is also available through same process but supply to vessel is per pipeline with min. quantity of 500 tons at the oil berth only.
All grades of fuel available from Shell (Ghana) Ltd, Elf (Ghana) Ltd, Texaco (Ghana) Ltd and Mobil (Ghana) Ltd. Bunkering of all marine crafts is done by Ghana Bunkering Services.


Semi-diurnal. Tidal heights as follows:

M.H.W.S 1.5
M.H.W.N. 1.2
M.L.W.S. 0.2
M.L.W.N. 0.6


Tide tables are available for sale.

A tug is compulsory for ships over 1000 GRT, with two tugs compulsory for tankers and Valco ships. Tug’s wires are used. 6 Tugs with 1,380 HP with 10 tons bollard pull.

Light to strong breeze from W and SW during all year except December to February, when NE Harmattan is dominating with poor visibility. Dangerous winds are line squalls from E, January to July, swell in the harbour, especially after line squalls (1-2 days) requires 2 ft of water under ship’s keel, when lying alongside.


The port is working round the clock and operates with 2 shifts: 07:30-19:30 hrs and 19:30-07:30 hrs with 30 minute meal breaks.


Normal hours: 0730-1200, 1400-1700 & 1930-0330
Overtime hours: 1230-1400, 1700-1930 & 0330-0730

Overtime hours: round the clock

For weekdays: 1500/1600 hrs the day before with possibility of cancellation up to 0645 on the day the gang is ordered for.
For Saturdays/Sundays: 0730 hrs.
No cargo handling work on Christmas Day and Good Friday.
Oil and Valco jetty work round the clock 7 days a week

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