Lekki Port management, govt working on road expansion
The management of Lekki Port, LFTZ Enterprise Ltd. (LPLEL) is working with the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to ensure the expansion of road network leading to the port.
The Managing Director of the company, Du Ruogang, made this known in Lagos.
He said that the construction of additional roads leading to the deep seaport would commence before beginning operations at the port to ease cargo evacuation.
According to him, the deep seaport would be able to berth ships carrying about 18,000 TEUS (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units, when it becomes operational by the fourth quarter of 2022.
He added that efforts were being made to connect the port to rail.
“With Dangote Refinery just beside us, it is expected to operate with nothing less than 700 trucks. We are optimistic that efforts are in place to expand the road network and also link the port by rail.
“The road is currently a single lane road network but we are confident that before port operations commence next year, the road will have been expanded to a two-lane highway to accommodate seamless cargo evacuation at the ports.
“This is while also servicing the cluster of businesses that will spring up around here by next year when the ports become operational.
“Nobody wants to repeat the problem in Apapa. We are working with the Federal, State Government, the Free Trade Zone landlord and Lekki port.
“We are all committed toward ensuring that at the right time, everything is put in place. It is something that is agitating the minds of everyone,’’ Ruogang said.
According to him, the Ministry of Transport is working to ensure that the port is connected to rail. So it is a work in progress.
“We are assured that they would do what really needs to be done,” he said.
Ruogang said the construction of the $1.6 billion project had reached about 50.35 per cent completion, saying that it had also completed the 1,909 metre-long core of the main breakwater.
He said that work on the quay wall and landside infrastructure had reached 43.14 per cent and 27.83 per cent respectively.
Ruogang said China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) had invested 1.1 billion dollars into the development of the Lekki Port project, thus becoming the largest shareholder of the project with a 45-year Build, Operate Transfer (BOT) concession period.
According to him, with the investment of 1.1 billion dollars, the company is now the largest shareholder of the Lekki Port project with a 75 per cent stake.
“CHEC is now the largest shareholder of the Lekki Port project following the injection of 1.1 billion dollars into the project by the company.
“With this, we now have 70 per cent shareholding stake with our partners, Tolarams Group, having 5 per cent, making the total shares 75 per cent.
“The other activities that we recently started are the marine services by Nigerian Ports Authority and the operating system by the container terminal,” he said.
He said the port facility had attracted about 1,126 local employees accounting for 83 per cent of its total workforce in the project.
The multi-purpose Lekki Port, which is the first deep seaport to be built in Nigeria, will have three container terminals, three liquid and one dry bulk terminals to serve container vessels of up to 18,000 TEUs, dry bulk vessels and liquid bulk cargo vessels.
A 9km-long and 19 metre-deep navigation channel and a 600metre-wide turning basin will be built to allow vessels to approach or leave the port.
Other facilities at the port will include a 6km-long and 14.5m-deep approach channel, quay wall, cargo handling cranes and three 19m-deep liquid jetties.