Eromosele Abiodun and Mohammed Habib
The Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman has indicated part of the new capacity being added at the Phase 4B area of the Onne Port Complex development Area in Rivers State, will be put into commercial use soon.
The NPA boss dropped the hint after a tour of the facilities designed to handle Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) integration and other construction and industrial activities.
The NPA boss expressed satisfaction at the high quality of facilities and services provided by Intels Nigeria Limited at Onne Port Terminal.
Bala Usman visited the Onne Port Terminal as part of her maiden tour of port facilities in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
“I have come to Onne and I have looked at the facilities. The Port management and operations are very tidy. We have seen the deployment of infrastructure efficiently and effectively. I have inspected Onne 4B and we are thinking of what we need to do within the shortest possible time to ensure that whatever government has invested in the project will be put to commercial use,” she said.
She added that the federal government has deployed millions of dollars to the project which is about 24 per cent completed.
“That 24 per cent completion phase needs to be used commercially while decision is taken on the steps the government will take to complete the project. I have inspected Onne 4 B and we are thinking of what we need to do within the shortest possible time to ensure that whatever government has invested in the project will be put to commercial use. So while we lease out land to developers we are not able to ensure that the developer takes access of the premises and that is one of the important take away from this visit, “ she said.
In his presentation to the NPA boss, the General Manager of Deep Offshore Services Nigeria Limited, Mr. Tonye Apiafi, said the company as concessionaire and investor, is investing over $ 2.7 billion in Phase 4B of the Onne Port Complex’’.
He added that, “the project includes the dredging and reclamation of a total of 600 HA of swampland, construction of 2000M of Jetty for Berths 12-19 and construction of over 3500M Jetty for port facilities including fabrication & construction yards. In addition, the Phase 4B project includes the construction of an inner channel and turning basin for vessels, stacking areas, a 6000 cubic meters capacity water distribution system and construction of roads networks in excess of 15,500 meters.”
Apiafi further stated that a portion of the jetty includes a 50 ton/SHLP (Super Heavy Load Platform) in preparation for fabrication, construction and FPSO integration activities, which he revealed, is available already.
When completed, Apiafi said the Phase 4B project will also provide jobs for tens of thousands of Nigerians.
He added that the phase 4B project will effectively double the existing land size of the Onne Port complex and rollout unprecedented capabilities, including new facilities to support Deep water operations.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of INTELS, Mr. Adrew Dawes said that the provision of high quality facilities and services in Onne was the result of huge investments running into billions of Dollars over the years.
“We (Intels and NPA) are partners in the public private sector. Our policy is to invest in concessioned terminals in line with what was issued in concession agreement by NPA and the Ministry of Transport in line with Federal Government strategy on infrastructure development, ’’he said.
He explained that it is the only facility ready to fully receive a FPSO alongside it.
Dawes further said that sufficient water depth, turning basin and heavy lift capacity already exist in the jetty for loads up to 50 tons.