The Port of Tema is located 28 km east of Accra at 5°38’N and 0°01’E.
The port requires advance notice of 72 hours prior to Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) – before 14.30 hours on Monday to Thursday and before 10.00 hours on Friday for weekend working.
There is good anchorage between 1.5 km to 4 km ENE to SW off the main harbour entrance in depths of 9 metres to 18 metres with good holding ground. The Easten area of the anchorage is most suitable without additional swell reflected from the main breakwater.
Tema Port berthing capacity has been expanded from 12 to 21 berths, With draughts ranging from 8.2 to 16m.
Tankers moored alongside the oil terminal must deploy fire wires and position a floating boom around the vessel. Two fire-fighting pumps are mounted on the jetty. Tankers up to 244 metres in length and 9.7 metres draught can be accommodated at the oil berth.
Towage is compulsory within the harbour. The port authority operates 5 tugs: Three (3) with 60 bollard pull and 2 with 80 bollard pull. All tugs are fitted with pumps and monitors for fire-fighting.
Tidal heights of 1.6 metres at MHWS and 1.3 metres at MLWS and 0.7 metres at MLWN are recorded twice daily.
The port maintains a 24 hour watch on VHF Channels 14 and 16 and any other convenient channel. This signal station can reach vessels 140 km away. During harmattan conditions, vessels can hear the signal 400 km from port. The Port of Tema is linked with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS).
Harbour entrance is 240 metres wide with a depth of 12.5 metres. A heavy swell may be encountered at 400 to 600 metres from harbour entrance during the monsoon season from April to September which causes vessels to roll heavily up to 40-80. For this reason, deep draught vessels enter only at high tide to obtain sufficient keel clearance.
Light to strong breezes from W and SW throughout the year except from December-February when the NE harmattan dominates, causing poor visibility. Dangerous winds are tornadoes from E during May-July. There is a swell in the harbour, especially after tornadoes which requires about 0.5 metres under the ship’s keel when lying alongside the wharves.