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Westminster Group set for huge port upgrade contract in Ghana

All containers arriving or leaving the port will be screened with revenues to start accruing as soon as terms are finalised
Tema is one of the world's most modern container ports

Westminster Group PLC (LON:WSG) soared higher on Tuesday following news the firm has been chosen as the technical partner to a major upgrade of the container port at Tema in Ghana.

Final terms are set to be agreed with Ghanaian partner Scanport and port owner Meridian within 30 days.

Peter Fowler, Westminster’s chief executive, said the project at Tema is a US $1billion investment to expand its capacity from one million twenty-foot equivalent units a year to more than 3.5mln.

The port facility already incorporates some of the most advanced ship-to-shore cranes in the world and Westminster will manage, operate, maintain and upgrade the container screening services alongside Scanport.

All containers arriving or leaving the port will be screened with revenues to start accruing as soon as terms are finalised.

“Once fully underway, this potential contract will materially increase our annual revenues with the screening operation also expected to generate several hundred new jobs in Ghana,” he added.

In April, Westminster also won a screening contract for two ports in Asia worth US$3.4mln in total.

Fowler said that trading in 2019 overall had started on a strong note with both order intake and revenues ahead of budget and not including anything from Tema this year's revenues will be significantly ahead of 2018's.

Passenger numbers for the West Africa airport operation were at record levels for the first five months of 2019 and both Managed Services and Technology divisions continue to have a healthy and active enquiry bank, said Fowler.

Recent acquisition Euro Ops is already generating interest for long-term airport security programmes in several countries in Francophone Africa, while a new aviation training facility has opened at Banbury in Oxford.

Westminster is awaiting confirmation of another airport security contract in Africa, but its contact in Iran looks increasingly uncertain due to the recent increase in hostilities in the Persian Gulf.

Fowler added that in future it will no longer announce potential contracts until a firm agreement has been reached.

The group's cash holdings are currently about £530,000.

In early afternoon trading, shares in Westminter Group topped the London market gainers board, jumping 37.5% higher to 8.25p.

 -- Adds share price --

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