Mrs. Rose Appiah Okyere, Managing Director of the Volta Lake Transport Company Limited (VLTC) says the Company can transport bulk cargo on the Volta Lake to various destinations in the country.
Mrs Okyere speaking in a forum on a Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) media platform said using the Volta Lake for the carting of cargo was safer, and cost-efficient compared to road transport as it was 40 percent cheaper than road transport.
She said VLTC has two tug boats that plied the North-South commercial route, explaining that one tug boat per voyage could pull nine barges at a go which was equivalent to 100 Bulk Road Vehicles (BRVs) of about 54,000 litres of liquid cargo capacity, and 48 trucks of 1000 bags of cement capacity.
She further said the company has at its disposal three barges of 2,250 ton-capacity dedicated to shipping solid bulk cargo and six barges with a total capacity of 4,676 tons.
She said using the Volta Lake to transport goods from the South to the North, meant that over 2000 trucks would be moved off the roads annually as one voyage accounted for the goods about 140 trucks carry.
Mrs Okyere added that it would free the country’s roads and help conserve them as well as reduce the amounts of money used to rehabilitate them.
According to her, even though the VLTC’s North Bound Commercial Line from Akosombo to Buipe could record 150,000 to 160,000 tons per year, it was turning around only 26 percent of the total annual capacity.
She said, “I believe there is a policy to direct some 30-40% of cargo earmarked for the north should be channeled through the lake.”
She gave the assurance that VTLC has the full complement of equipment and human resource to support the logistics needs of companies who want to convey goods between the Southern and Northern parts of Ghana.
She disclosed that in its solid bulk category of goods, VTLC currently only ships for GHACEM, and in its liquid bulk category, it transports for the Bulk Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).
She, therefore, called on Ghanaians to tap into the advantages inland water transport presented adding that if its commercial lines were significantly boosted by increased patronage, the Company would be able to recapitalize with enough funds to subsidize its ferry operations.
She also appealed to the government to look into the possibility of influencing cargo volumes through the lake, as the Company established in 1970 by the state following the construction of the Hydroelectric Dam in Akosombo, has been experiencing diminishing levels of cargo volumes, due to the preference of local companies to transport by road.