Lekki Free Zone
For the first time in Nigeria, a private firm, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, has concluded plans to build a mooring buoy facility in the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) with a view to reducing cost associated with the shipment of petroleum products.
Disclosing this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ceremony between Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation (CPTDC), the Managing Director of the former, Mr. Peter Mbah, said the single buoy mooring project would gulp $250 million.
Mbah stated that the partnership with CPTDC and Lekki Free Trade Zone Company (LFTZC) Limited would lead to the development of the Nigerian downstream sector as the free zone provided a more convenient alternative to loading of oil products.
He explained that the single point mooring facility at LFZ would enable petroleum cargo vessels to anchor and discharge products via the network of undersea and onshore pipelines to respective tank farms.
He added that the under the MoU executed by LFTZC, his firm and CPTDC are expected to complete the $250 million SPM facility with over 11 kilometres of subsea and onshore pipeline network by December 2013 when many of the tank farms proposed for the zone would have also been completed.
“The Lekki Free Zone SPM could not have come at a better time than now that government is withdrawing subsidy on petrol. Considering that factors which impact on the product price like demurrage and littering of cargo-using small vessels to take products from bigger vessels that cannot dock at the jetty due to the shallow draught, would be eliminated; therefore reducing the landed cost of petroleum products quite considerably,” Mbah said.
Managing Director, LFTZCL, Mr. Chen Xiaoxing, noted the strategic importance and location of the free zone as the new economic hub for Nigeria.
most suitable alternative especially considering its location at the outskirts of Lagos and with proximity to the Ijebu Ode axis from where most trucks come to load petroleum products in Lagos.
He said the absence of mooring and discharge facilities at the Zone has denied oil and gas operators the opportunity to tap the benefits of LFZ, and explained that the SPM would address this challenge and enhance the position of the zone as major economic catalyst.
SPM is an offshore anchored loading buoy that serves as mooring point and interconnects to tankers loading or off-loading gas or fluid products.
Managing Director, CPTDC, Mr. John Cooper, said the MoU was in furtherance of the company’s commitment to the development of Nigerian downstream oil sector, especially working with indigenous oil and gas firms.
Cooper explained that Nigerian and Chinese firms should continue to explore opportunities to foster mutually beneficial interests expressing the readiness of his company to support the realization of the local content policy and full participation of Nigerian firms in the oil sector.
LFZ is a joint venture between a China Corporation, which holds 60 per cent stake, Lagos State Government and the Federal Government, which hold 20 per cent stake each. Conceived at the heart of Africa to connect the regional markets to the globe, LFZ aimed to dissolve obstacles and boundaries towards encouraging growth, sustainable development and creating a brighter future for the people.