With the installation of this heavy lifting technology in LADOL Free Trade Zone, Nigerian economy would now be able to retain jobs and wealth that were formerly exported to other countries.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony held in Lagos on Monday, Jide Jadesimi, executive director, Business Development of LADOL described the cranes as unique infrastructure that would transform LADOL into a heavy lifting terminal in Nigeria.
“This simply means that for the first time ever in the history of Nigeria, heavy cargoes can be handled at the LADOL quayside, which will service projects not just in Nigeria but for the entire West African sub-region,” he stated.
According to him, a LADOL’s client, who is a ship owner, complained that he recently had to send his vessel to Cameroon because there was no facility in Lagos where he could take his vessel out of the water, do the repair work that was required and put it back into the water. “For exporting the job, what should have cost about $100,000, ended up costing him over $500,000, and it also took longer time such that his company lost the contract.
By having equipment such as MTC 15 crane, Jadesimi stated that LADOL would be able to assist those kinds of clients and companies to reduce cost and actually make sure that the can get services they needed to really boost Local Content and Nigerian economy.
“Let’s not lose these jobs and monies to neighbouring countries. We know what is happening with the Africa Free Trade Agreement, which is going to become even more competitive in the future. So, we have to acquire this kind of infrastructure in Nigeria to be able to attract these kinds of cargo and businesses,” he said.
Continuing, he stated that, “We also know what is happening with the congestion in Apapa Port. So, while the Federal Government is doing everything it can to alleviate that situation, we the private businesses and also as a duty free zone located within Apapa, we need to do our part to enhance the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria,” .
On his part, Jan Van Weijen, consul general, Kingdom of Netherland, who described LADOL as a very good operator of the Free Trade Zone, said the installation of the heavy lifting cranes at the terminal would enable LADOL and Mammoet to domesticate resources and increase capacity in the harbour.
“This partnership will bring in new businesses. The customers will be happy because they can get heavier things in and out of Lagos than they could before. It would also increase the business handled by LADOL and lower cost for customers,” Weijen said.
Amy Jadesimi, managing director of LADOL, said the collaboration with Mammoet has made Nigeria the hub for heavy lifts for the region, adding that the terminal by this now has capacity to do fabrications, repairs, and integration in Nigeria.
“This will attract business from outside the country, but most importantly, there is no reason to fabricate and send it out of the country, translating to increase in local demand for fabrication and engineering. This would also result to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs,” she stated.
Stating that the challenges facing local fabrication is sending fabricated pieces abroad for integration due to lack of lifting capacity, Jadesimi stated that, ships and oil rigs can now come from all over the country or region to be repaired at LADOL, which would grow the size of market with higher revenue for government, higher job creation for Nigerians and naturally lower cost for businesses.
“Lowering our cost is critical at this stage. Nigeria is suffering from a drastic decrease in oil price and that is going to force changes, but these are changes we should make anyway. Even if the oil price was to be 100 dollars per barrel, Nigeria is still too expensive. We have to lower our cost and our collaboration with Mammoet would lower the cost of doing business,” she said.
Mammoet has installed in LADOL its heavy lift terminal crane – MTC 15, which turns any quay into a heavy lift terminal. With a load moment matching a 1,200 ton crawler crane or a large floating sheerleg, the crane enables loads up to 600 tons to be lifted to and from the quay from non-geared cargo vessels.
Experts believed that this lifting capacity is ideal for loading and offloading heavy items such as columns, vessels, reels, engines and any other project cargo. One of the cranes has been installed at the LADOL quayside earlier in the year while the second cranes which is currently at the base, be erected by one and half weeks to come.