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11.06.2005 Business & Finance

Foreign Companies declare stands on GPHA consortium issue

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Tema, June 11, GNA - Hull Blyth Shipping Company in Tema has written a letter to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to disassociate itself from problems concerning the appointment of a consortium to manage the Container Terminal Project at the Tema Port. According to the letter the company made the decision after a meeting with GPHA on June 6 when the 'mechanics and participants' of the consortium were explained to them.

"We thus have no further questions or queries regarding this matter and would like to withdraw from any further association with this matter", it said.

The Company together with Grimaldi Lines and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) were accused by the GPHA of spearheading a plot to sabotage the GPHA's appointment of a consortium to manage its Container Terminal Project.

When contacted the General Manager of African Steamship, a division of Hull Blyth, Captain Duncun MacNicol, confirmed the Company's position and declined to make any further comments on the issue saying that "everything has been stated in the letter'. Meanwhile the Managing Director of Grimaldi Mr Stuart Scott and Toby Lucas, Managing Director of MSC in an interview with the GNA admitted being signatories to the letter sent to the Ghana Procurement Board for an investigation into how the consortium was formed. Mr Scott denied having knowledge of any bidding being organised by GPHA to form a consortium.

Mr Lucas said it was only on Monday during the meeting with GPHA that he became aware that a consortium had been formed and thought the way it was formed was not the best and wanted the Procurement Board to investigate.

He then expressed his concern about the fact that two of the Companies who are now part of the consortium, Merskline and Boegues shipping lines are their competitors and could monopolise the business. Mr Lucas denied allegations that meetings were being held in Geneva to destroy GPHA's plans.

Mr Ben Owusu Mensah, the Director General of GPHA, has said at a meeting with Ship Owners and Agents Association, that there was a plot by some foreign companies to sabotage the consortium of maritime organisations established to manage the Port's Container Terminal Project.

He alleged that the companies were recruiting some Ghanaians to plant stories in the media to denigrate the consortium as a bad deal.

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