Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lagos State to Host Africa's Deepest Port

$700m Africa's Deepest Port Ready in Lagos 2009

The deepest port in Africa with a draft of 17 meters is to be constructed by Lagos Port LFTZ Enterprises along Atlantic coast at Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos by the first quarter of 2009, Mr. A Sivaram, Managing Director of the company, has said. The port which is expected to gulp a total sum of $700 million, would handle about 8,000 containers (TEU's) at the completion of the first phase. The second phase is expected to handle 1.05 metric tons of bulk cargo, Sivaram noted. GA_googleFillSlot("AllAfrica_Other_Inset");

He pointed out that the port which would "be the first deep water port that will allow Suezmax (the largest naval carriers) ships to enter Nigerian waters." He disclosed that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the design for the project are already in place and that the contractors would soon be mobilised to commence work. When completed he continued, the port because of its potentials would serve as a hub to the West African sub-region.

The port project he further explained, is only part of the larger one in the Lagos Free Trade Zone which includes a new plant that would produce Olefins from methanol derived from natural gas. The port project is expected to cover an area of 500 hectares of land when it is fully developed. According to him, "The size and scale of the Lekki port when combined with its state of the art cargo handling and storage infrastructure will make it an ideal transshipment hub capable servicing the entire West African coast." Sivaram furthered noted that "by providing an ideal platform for accelerated industrial development, the proposed Lekki Port LFTZ enterprise combined with the LFTZ lays the foundation for a significant shift in Nigeria's position from an exporter of natural resources into a regional industrial power- house." He said, "As one of the parties involved in the establishing the Lagos Free Trade Zone, Eurochem Corporation Pet. Ltd will be in charge of the building and operation of the Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise. The Singapore-based company will be responsible for the day-to-day management of port operations, marketing the services and facilities of the port to various shipping lines and users and elaborating future development plans."

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