The Badagry Ship Repair Marine Engineering Consortium (BSMEC) has emerged as the lead investor for the $1.5 billion Dockyard project that is being facilitated by Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG).
The BSMEC Consortium, which includes companies like SIFAX Logistics and Marine Services Limited, SIVC Infrastructure, DMCC (Sahara Group Limited), Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, Energy Nature Limited and GMT Energy Services Limited, is expected to take the initiative going forward, in financing and driving progress related to the successful actualization of the milestone project.
The project will also have financial and technical involvement of the two Korean ship-builders i.e. Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) investing tens of millions of dollars. Africa Finance Corporation will also be providing financial consultancy and support.
During a courtesy visit recently to Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) in Abuja, by a delegation representing the group, the consortium’s Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, reaffirmed BSMEC’s commitment to the ship dockyard project, adding that the consortium was fully aligned with NLNG’s aspiration for Nigeria to have a major shipyard that can deliver quality services, while increasing Nigerian content development in the oil and gas sector.
“NLNG, as a pioneer promoter of the Nigerian Content Development, remains an inspiration for Nigerian organisations and a testimony of what is truly achievable by Nigerians through vision, patriotic commitment, discipline, shared values and proactive community development. Its organisational structure and processes are worthy of emulation as the fourth largest LNG plant in the world,” Dr. Afolabi stated.
The proposed dockyard is part of the Nigerian Content drive of NLNG’s shipping subsidiary, Bonny Gas Transport’s (BGT), acquisition of four (4) LNG vessels from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and two LNG vessels from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The initiatives also include the training of more than 600 Nigerians in various aspects of ship building both in South Korea and in Nigeria, as well as export business opportunities worth tens of millions of dollars, for several Nigerian companies including Berger Paints and NexansKablemetal in the building of the ships.
To be located in Badagry, Lagos State, the appointment of lead investor follows the successful conclusion of feasibility studies by Royal Haskoning DHV, an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy known for several large scale maritime projects, such as the construction of the Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard in Qatar.
Feasibility studies for siting 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. Criteria for the decision to site the facility in Badagry include natural water depth and proximity to both an international airport and the active offshore and onshore West African oil and gas hub.
The Badagry dockyard is expected to cater for the maintenance of all sizes of ships (oil carriers VLCCs, Gas carriers etc) as well as rigs in Nigeria, to international standard, and will revolutionise the maritime industry in Nigeria and the African continent.
Responding to the BSMEC delegation, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Mr. Babs Omotowa, said the completion of the dockyard and commencement of dry-dock services by 2020 will be a key strategic achievement for Nigeria.
“This project holds many benefits, one being that LNG vessels, very large crude oil carriers (VLCC) and other ships will be maintained and repaired in this dockyard, which will result in millions of dollars being generated for the Nigerian economy and the avoidance of such foreign spends in other locations. We have already started reaping low hanging fruits from this project, with over 600 Nigerians being trained in ship building and design at SHI and HHI shipyards in South Korea and several Nigerian products being exported internationally for the first time. The technical partnership with SHI and HHI is one of a kind and it has paid off with the transfer of knowledge to Nigerians who will run this industry in the future,” he said.
The BSMEC delegation was received by Mr. Omotowa and Mr. Isa Mohammed Inuwa, NLNG’s Deputy Managing Director and other senior management staff.
The Project Director stated that the Badagry Dry Dock project is viewed by industry watchers as a good strategic response to the decades-long call by maritime stakeholders for the urgent establishment of a mega dockyard, which will fill the existing gap in the maritime sector, and cater for the growing maritime interests in Nigeria and the region.