• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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APM Terminals confirms plan to invest fresh $500m in port upgrade

APM Terminals confirms plan to invest fresh $500m in port upgrade

Keith Svendsen, global CEO of APM Terminals, the terminal management arm of A.P. Moller-Maersk, has confirmed the plan to invest a fresh $500 million in the upgrade of the Nigerian port.

Svendsen in a statement titled ‘Our Vision for Nigerian Ports and Growth,’ said the terminal operator is intensifying talks with the Bola Tinubu administration and port authority to make the plans concrete.

“Earlier this year, our proposal to invest more than $500 million, which we discussed with President Tinubu both in February and further elaborated on in late April, was made public,” Svendsen said.

He said Nigeria is a key market in Africa and the terminal operator is proud of the central role it is playing in enabling containerised trade between the country and the rest of the world.

According to him, the firm has developed plans to undertake the necessary terminal upgrade investments in Apapa to give access to vessels with deep draft and requiring large ship-to-shore cranes.

Svendsen said the Apapa Port has continued to offer unique access to Nigerian importers and exporters to international markets through not just road, but also rail and waterways, using barges.

He also said the firm believed that Lagos, as the main port, needs further investments to cater to increasing trade volumes and to be able to attract large container vessels.

“While Greenfield terminals like Lekki and later on Badagry will support economic growth in the long run, the more urgent requirement is in our view to upgrade the existing port infrastructure to ensure road, rail, and barge networks can connect directly to mainline shipping,” he said.

Svendsen said APM Terminals will do the upgrading under a long-term agreement with the government to support its ambition to continuously improve the import and especially export opportunities for the country, creating jobs and diversifying opportunities locally.

“A.P. Moller-Maersk has been present in Nigeria for more than 35 years and our vessels have served the country essentially since Independence. Today, our two container terminals in Lagos and Onne handle about half of the containers going in and out of Nigeria, and our vessels transport close to a third.

“APM Terminals have been operating in Nigeria since 2006 and have invested more than $600 million during this period in equipment, including trucks and container cranes as well as in advanced operational controls, digital interfaces, and extensive training of employees to provide customers with a fully modern and safe experience,” he said.

He said a recent socio-economic study shows that the terminal operator employs about 2,500 people directly and they are 99 percent Nigerians and indirectly creates employment for about 65,000.

“We believe strongly in the prospects for the Nigerian economy, and the long-term opportunities that the current economic reforms and invitation for international investments will generate.

“At Onne, we are concluding a $115 million upgrade project to ensure the terminal has sufficient capacity and capabilities to service the south-eastern Nigeria market and the growth expected in coming years,” he said.

Svendsen said the aim is to ensure APM Terminals not only operates highly efficient terminals but also to contribute to the development of the local communities, bringing in opportunities for growth and new prospects for Nigerians.

BusinessDay reported in February that Keith Svendsen, global CEO of APM Terminals, expressed the company’s readiness to invest another $500 million in Apapa Port when he visited Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy in Abuja.