Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE) has issued the Notice-to-Proceed to its engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to commence full construction activities for the Lekki Deep Seaport situated within the Lagos Free Trade Zone in the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.
This is a major milestone on the project that marks the beginning of the 41-month construction period for the largest maritime project in Nigeria.
According to the company, this phase of the project would cost a total of $1.65 billion and is scheduled to be operational in 2019.
The project will be the deepest sea port in the sub-Saharan Africa with a draft depth of 16.5 meters. The EPC contractors are a subsidiary of the China Harbour Engineering Company, one of the largest maritime contractors in the world, the China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise (CHELE).
The managing director of LPLE, Mr Haresh Aswani, said at a brief ceremony for the Notice-to-Proceed in Lagos that the total contract value for construction of all marine and land-side infrastructure for the port is $792 million. He said that the LPLE flagged off the construction contract yesterday by releasing an advance payment to the CHELE for them to commence full construction on the project.
“Once ready, the port facility, with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, would be able to handle post-Panamax container vessels of up to 10,000 TEUs (20ft equivalent unit containers) capacity. The port will commence its operations with an annual throughput capacity of 1.5 million TEUs and shall quickly ramp it up to 2.7 million TEUs. In addition, when completed, the Lekki Port will be equipped to handle around 16.7 million MT liquid cargo and 4.0 million MT dry bulk cargo annually,” he said.
The Lekki deep port, in addition to solving the long-standing congestion problem at existing ports, is expected to create an enabling environment and spur massive investments along the Lagos Free Trade Zone corridor and will have a direct positive impact on the overall Nigerian economy. The port is also expected to generate direct and induced employment for approximately 170,000 persons and will have an economic impact of $361 billion over the concession period.
“This is going to be a game-changer and we are honoured to be part of this promise. We are thankful to the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government for their support as we look forward to this exciting partnership. We, especially, acknowledge the unflinching support extended by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola through his promise to expand the connecting road infrastructure between port site and hinterland for smooth operations,” Aswani said.
In his remarks, the managing director of the NPA, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero, said, “We are today witnessing another milestone in the development of the Lekki Deep Seaport. The issuance of the Notice-to-Proceed for the construction is a quantum leap, signifying our resolve to tap into the hitherto huge market occasioned by a port capacity gap in Nigeria.
“As a port authority, we see potential for growth and strive to make it a reality at all times. A port with a depth of 16.5metres will allow bigger vessels to berth and the port will enable our ports to be enormously competitive due to economy of scale and will have significant positive macro economic impact on Nigeria in terms of employment, taxes and royalties.
“As we began the consummation of our strategic alliance with the promoters of this project and look towards a bright future, we assure you that the NPA will not waver in its continued support for the project.”