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Nigeria LNG has reached out to the investment community, representatives of banks and other financial institutions, promoting the potential for a new dockyard in the country.
The dockyard, for location in Badagry, follows the conclusion of feasibility studies by Royal HaskoningDHV, an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy headquartered in the Netherlands.
The studies come as one of the benefits of NLNG’s US$1.6 billion contract with shipbuilders, Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries, for the building of six new vessels.
“This dry-dock, when completed, holds huge potential for investors and for Nigeria. Our LNG vessels and very large crude carriers of other companies in the oil and gas, and marine industries, which are currently maintained overseas, resulting in millions of dollars in capital flight, will soon be maintained in-country with significant value-added for the Nigerian economy,” said Babs Omotowa, NLNG’s managing director and chief executive officer at an investors forum held in Lagos.
NLNG, leveraging on the agreement with the ship manufacturers, secured a number of lucrative opportunities beneficial to the Nigerian economy, including the training of about 600 young Nigerians in various aspects of ship-building, export of goods from Nigerian manufacturing companies, and the feasibility studies for building a dockyard.
Feasibility studies for citing the dry-dock were carried out on seven locations, Badagry, Lekki FTZ, Ladol Island, Ogogoro Island, Olokola FTZ, Onne, Bonny, before consultants identified Badagry as the most suitable location for the dockyard.
Observers of Nigeria’s maritime sector have long lamented the absence of an operational dockyard to cater for very large crude carriers and liquefied natural gas carriers. Existing dockyards can only handle smaller vessels.
The absence of such a facility has meant that owners of large vessels in Nigeria and the West African sub-region, have had to pay large sums of money to access docking facilities located mainly in Asia, Europe and the Americas, that can accommodate such large vessels.