Chineme Okafor in Abuja
LADOL free zone yesterday blocked Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) from accessing the SHI-MCI yard, which is a fabrication and integration facility, despite an existing court order requesting both parties to maintain status quo on their lingering disagreement over the non-renewal of SHI’s operating licence in the free zone.
THISDAY in Abuja learnt that LADOL blocked SHIN officials from accessing the facility, despite a public notice published in THISDAY by SHIN cautioning the offshore logistics provider from violating the subsisting court order.
The development, it was learnt, would potentially threaten the completion of the Egina deepwater project which will add 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day to the country’s daily output.
The fabrication and integration yard was built for the integration of the $3.3 billion Floating Production Storage Offloading (FPSO) unit for the Egina oilfield.
THISDAY gathered that though the FPSO has sailed to the oilfield from the SHI-MCI yard, the ongoing offshore inauguration of the FPSO requires certain activities to be undertaken in the yard.
In the public notice, SHIN stated that the claim that its licence to operate in the facility had expired on September 2 was false, adding that any action in this regards by LADOL would be a breach of an existing court order.
“By an application dated July 24, 2018, the companies sought interim orders of injunction and on July 31, 2018 obtained an interim order of the court against the defendants and their privies, agents or subsidiaries from withdrawing services to SHI-MCI FZE or suspending any of the service or legal rights due to SHI-MCI as a free zone enterprise in the LADOL Free Zone, including but not limited to right to renew SHI-MCI’s license as a free zone enterprise, and adjourned the suit to 14th of August 2018 for hearing of the Plaintiff’s Motion on Notice.”
SHI added that on August 14, 2018, Hon Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor discharged the initial interim order obtained against LADOL by the plaintiffs on the condition that the parties shall maintain the status quo as existed before the unlawful restricted renewal of SHI-MCI‘s operating licence by GRMFZC, pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Reliefs which was filed on July 24, 2018.
“Anyone who does or continues to do so shall be liable as an accomplice for contempt of court, and the full weight of the law will be brought against that person as a contemnor,” the notice explained.