Court Orders LADOL to Grant Samsung Unrestricted Access to Fabrication Yard

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Akinwale Akintunde

Justice Abdulfattah Molawale Lawal of the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere has ordered Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics (LADOL) to grant Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and its subsidiary SHI-MCI FZE, unrestricted access to the Fabrication and Integration Yard in the LADOL Zone.

The judge gave this order yesterday, while delivering judgment in Suit No: LD/493CM/2018 between LADOL and SHIN.

Justice Lawal in his judgment also restrained LADOL from further unlawful interfering with Samsung’s proprietary rights in the LADOL Zone.

The court further granted Samsung, a global shipbuilding giant, “the right to freely move in and out of its yard with its employees, agents and service providers. Furthermore, LADOL shall continue to provide all services such as water and power supply to Samsung”.

According to the court’s decision, which is in favour of Samsung and Nigeria at a critical time, Samsung should continue its operations unhindered.

Commenting on the judgment, the Chief Operating Officer of SHI-MCI, Mr. Frank Eijzu, said: “Samsung is pleased that the High Court has ruled in its favour and against LADOL. The Judgment prevents LADOL from evicting Samsung from the yard meaning that it shall comply with its legal obligations to provide services to the yard and its Nigerian employees.

“The judgment will allow Samsung to continue to provide services vital to the completion of the 200,000 barrels per day Egina deep water project, future projects in Nigeria, Nigerian oil production and the Nigerian economy.

“We have always maintained that there were no lawful grounds to terminate the sub-lease agreement. This is part of a co-ordinated campaign by LADOL to unlawfully convert, appropriate and take control of the yard to the detriment of the Nigerian economy. The Judgment by the High Court of Lagos grants Samsung possession of its fabrication and integration yard while the validity of the termination of the Sub-lease Agreement is being determined at the London Court of International Arbitration”

Samsung originally won the tender for the construction of the floating production, storage and offloading platform for the exploration of the Egina oil-field 130km off Nigeria’s coastline. When fully operational, the platform will boost Nigeria’s oil production capability by 200,000 barrels a day and will make a significant contribution to the Nigerian economy.

The joint venture – SHI-MCI-FZE, which is owned 70 per cent by Samsung and 30 per cent by LADOL’s affiliate, entered a sub-lease agreement with Global Resources Management Limited (LADOL’s affiliate) in order for SHI-MCI FZE to construct and develop a world class Fabrication and Integration yard and quay wall for the execution of the local content elements of the Egina FPSO Project.

The global shipbuilding giant has accused LADOL of abusing its monopolistic position and regulatory powers as a zone manager in clear conflict of interest with its personal business interest.

“LADOL has also been spreading deliberate and malicious falsehoods in the Nigerian media designed to unlawfully appropriate and take over Samsung’s fabrication yard and to convert same to its own use. This has culminated in LADOL attempting to unlawfully terminate the sub-lease agreement granted in Samsung’s favour and refusing Samsung access to its yard from September 3, 2018 until September 26, 2018,” the company said.

Since its arrival in Nigeria in 2011, SHIN has created more than 6000 jobs for Nigerians and has offered promotion to managerial positions for its Nigerian employees.

It has trained some of Nigeria’s most skilled welders and has established a Technology training Centre.

As part of its corporate social responsibility endeavours, it has also worked with Vision Care to provide free-cataract surgery to over 350 patients over the last three years.