The Federal Government and the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) have expressed optimism that the construction of a shipyard in Brass Island in Bayelsa State will add value to Nigeria’s economy and generate employment for the citizens of the state.
Indication to this development emerged during a virtual meeting to kick off the feasibility study for the construction of the shipyard hosted by Simbi Kesiye Wabote, executive secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, in his remarks said the outcomes of the feasibility study and subsequent construction and operation of the shipyard will create employment opportunities and contribute to poverty reduction in line with the cardinal aspirations of the Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
He added that the scope of the feasibility study includes geotechnical and bathymetric surveys, conducting a market study, ascertaining an optimal construction scale, developing technical proposal and construction plan and estimation of the required investment to bring the project into reality.
“This kick-off meeting further attests to the visionary leadership of Mr. President to provide infrastructure all over Nigeria including the frontiers of our coastal line to boost economic activities and create employment opportunities.
“Construction of a world-class shipyard in Brass Island will provide a shipping hub to cater for domiciliation of maintenance and repair services of vessels including cargo vessels, oil tankers, and LNG carriers. The high traffic of these vessels in and out of our country provides opportunity to retain substantial value in-country by provision of dry-dock services,” he said.
He added that the proposed Brass shipyard will provide further benefits with the upcoming implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement with Nigeria serving a hub for ship-building and repairs.
“This kick-off meeting of the feasibility study for the construction of a shipyard in Brass Island Bayelsa State is one of the measures aimed at further developing and harnessing the nation’s position in the oil and gas value chain and linkage to other sectors of the economy,” he added.
The minister urged CHEC, which is handling the project, to ensure that quality work is done.
Wefeng Zhang, managing director of CHEC, said the company considers the project as one with far-reaching significance.
He noted that the project will not only bring great vitality to the economy of Bayelsa State but also become the new engine of Nigeria’s development in the oil and gas field in the future.
“We are very confident that the project will be completed successfully by a very motivated and dedicated team from CHEC,” Zhang said.
“Since CHEC set foot in Nigeria in 1994, we have completed Calabar Dredging Project, AMS Terminal ‘B’ Old Port in Warri, rehabilitation of Lagos Harbour Moles and other projects, and we are the major investor and EPC contractor of the ongoing Lekki Deep sea Port Project with an investment of 1.05 billion dollars. Over the past two decades, CHEC has become a leading company with capacity in consulting, design and construction in marine works and has the most experience putting all these into practice in Nigeria.
“In view of CHEC’s specialisation in all modes of infrastructure with full capacity, we sincerely wish that CHEC will have more opportunities to work together with Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and achieve mutual benefits in the future,” he said.