• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Stakeholders laud LADOL, Samsung N51bn investment in deepwater facility

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Stakeholders in the maritime and oil and gas sectors have commended the joint venture (JV) partnership between Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL) and Samsung, which was set up to drive the development of Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

The JV company known as SHI-MCI Free Zone Enterprise will be investing the sum of $300 million (about N51 billion) in the development of the first mega Egina FPSO integration and fabrication facility in Africa.

The FPSO integration and fabrication yard was recently flagged off in Lagos and will be built with quay length of approximately 520 metres, depth of 13.5 metres, and heavy lifting area of 5,000 metric tonnes. Designed to become Africa’s largest vessel fabrication and integration facility, it will also have a total area of 121,000 square metres consisting of an assembling area, a painting shop, utility and warehouse area with a production capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes.

Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony in Lagos recently, Diezani Alison-Madueke, minister of petroleum resources, commended the JV partnership, saying it would be capable of fabricating and integrating Egina FPSO and other FPSO projects expected to be undertaken in the country, upon completion in October 2016. “This is the beginning of the journey to full completion of the mega-fabrication and integration yard at LADOL. It is a major milestone in our drive towards building capacity that will be a big boost and benefit to the upcoming deepwater development projects,” said the minister, who was represented by Jonathan Okey, group general manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).

“With the initial hitches in progressing this development now gone, it is our hope that the yard construction work will continue as planned to enable the delivery of the Egina FPSO project as scheduled so as to have the first FPSO integration done at this mega-facility in Nigeria. This will commence a new era of it being a hub for the entire Africa region,” she said. While expressing satisfaction that the project has finally taken off as originally planned, the minister said in addition to increasing the size of fabrication, engineering, procurement and raw materials market in Nigeria, the facility, which she described as a huge local content milestone, would also generate 50,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

Ernest Nwapa, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), said the SHI-MCI investment was very significant because it was the first time such massive investments would come at once in Nigeria. “This represents the first step in a tenuous journey that Nigeria as a nation has been planning to embark on for so many years, and it is the journey to perform FPSO topside integration in Nigeria,” Nwapa said.

He added that this would further demonstrate to Nigerian entrepreneurs that nothing in the oil and gas sector was off-limit to Nigerians and that this government would follow through on its pledge to create the enablers for genuine investors.

“We expect a domino effect in the scale and ambition in the new crop of Nigerian players entering the oil and gas industry,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, Amy Jadesimi, managing director, LADOL, said it took LADOL 13 years of massive development to get to its present stage and the flag-off of the Egina project was a real watershed moment. “I am particularly proud to witness the significant milestone in the realisation of my father’s vision, which is to create a wholly Nigerian facility that will be a platform from which thousands of jobs will be created in real local content,” said Jadesimi.

“Our focus and mission is to build infrastructure that will allow foreign companies to come and participate in Africa’s largest oil and gas market without having to compromise on efficiency and cost. They can come in here and set up their own facilities, independently or jointly with us, and be able to operate in their own safe environment,” she said.

The facility is strategically located on an island at the point of entry into Lagos harbour, directly opposite Apapa Port in the LADOL Free Zone, the LADOL boss said. “The government has set up the Free Zones and supported the operators because they want private investment, and know that it needs a combination of indigenous investors building a place that foreign investors can come into and operate efficiently,” she said.

Jadesimi expressed appreciation to President Goodluck Jonathan and the minister of petroleum resources for creating the enabling platform through the passage of the Local Content Act in 2010. She, however, solicited the Federal Government’s support in realising all the benefits of the investments for future endeavours.

KS Lee, managing director, Samsung Heavy Industry, while explaining why Samsung embarked on the project, noted that it was in line with the Federal Government’s aspiration and commitment to local content development in Nigeria. To him, Samsung took seriously the submission of the tender for Egina FPSO, which has the storage capacity of the 2.3 million barrels, to up Nigeria’s offshore fabrication and logistics capabilities within the country.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the birth of our new joint venture company. This company will become the vehicle of materialising offshore integrations for oil and gas zone in Africa for the first time,” Lee said.

Uzoamaka Anagor