Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) is sponsoring the construction of the first major ship yard in Nigeria at the cost of $1.5 billion.
The ship yard, according to Reuters, is an attempt to turn the country into a hub for maritime operations on the continent.
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil exporter but does not have a drydock for maintaining and repairing large crude vessels, a major drawback for carriers sailing to the country, NLNG spokesman Tony Okonedo told Reuters.
Ships have to travel all the way to South Africa for repairs since it is the only country in Africa that has such a facility. The closest Nigeria has are two that can only accommodate small vessels.
Okonedo said Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries have both agreed a $30 million commitment towards the construction of the facility, which would be located in Badagry.
“It could potentially be used to transport the 2.5 million barrel a day crude business in Nigeria,” Okonedo.
Okonedo said the NLNG organised a roadshow earlier this year to market the dry dock project to investors, which included multinational oil companies in Nigeria, with large exploration and upstream activities.
He said NLNG, which is owned by Nigeria’s state-oil company NNPC, Royal Dutch Shell, French oil company Total and Italy’s Eni was in discussions with a strategic investor for the project.
It appointed France’s BNP Paribas and Guaranty Trust Bank to help raise around $1.6 billion two years ago to build six new LNG carrier ships, expanding its fleet to 30.
Last April, NLNG also revealed it had awarded Hyundai and Samsung a $1.2billion contract to build 6 new ships which it expects this year.
The construction of the dry dock, with a size that can accommodate 185 football fields, will take up to 48 months to complete and would commence once all the funding was in place, he said.