• Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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BusinessDay

Lekki Port berths largest container ship on Nigerian waters

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Lekki Port, Nigeria’s deepest seaport, has successfully berthed the Maersk Edirne, a 13,092 TEUs vessel, the largest container ship to ever berth in Nigeria to date.

The container vessel docked at Lekki Port at about 14.42 hours on Sunday, January 21, 2024.

The Maersk Edirne is one of 13 large container vessels which form the new CMA CGM WAX service that will operate along key locations including Xiamen, Qingdao, Shanghai, Singapore, Lekki Port, and Abidjan.

In Nigeria, Lekki Port is the only port that is in this impressive port rotation.

The Maersk Edirne is a container ship with a length overall (LOA) of 366 meters and a width of 48 meters.

The next large container vessel scheduled to arrive in Lekki Port is the CMA CGM Scandola, an LNG-powered vessel with a carrying capacity of 14,000TEUs.

Speaking on the attainment of this milestone, Biodun Dabiri, chairman of Lekki Port, expressed his delight, adding that Lekki Port could berth such large vessels with its modern facilities and world-class equipment.

While congratulating the management team on this feat, he said that Lekki Port has put Lagos State and indeed Nigeria on the global maritime map as this is the beginning of the actualization of the maritime hub status for Nigeria in the sub-Saharan African region.

Also speaking after the arrival of the vessel, Laurence Smith, chief operating officer of Lekki Port, described the berthing of such a large vessel as a positive development that would contribute significantly to improving the Nigerian economy through the delivery of more cargo and reduced shipping costs.

He commended the container terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of CMA CGM for providing efficient terminal services to port users since the commencement of commercial operations in April 2023 for their dedicated efforts to make the container terminal the best in the country.

Reacting to the development, Mohammed Bello-Koko, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said the achievement validates the assurances given by the Authority during the signing of the Presidential/Ministerial Performance Bond in December 2023.

He commended Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, for the consistent support and endorsement of the Authority’s initiatives and investments in employee upskilling and equipment renewal which made the berthing of the vessel seamless.

Before this time, the largest commercial vessels to sail on Nigerian waters were “MV Stadelhorn” and “MSC Maureen” at Onne Port and Tin-Can Island Port Complexes respectively.

Therefore, the berthing of a ship of measuring 367 meters at Lekki Deep Seaport represents a quantum leap forward.

The Lekki Deep Seaport has by this feat in addition to its pioneering of full automation and facilitation of transhippment proven its readiness to exceed stakeholders’ expectations.