480 views | Akanimo Sampson | August 24, 2020
With the proposed shipyard in Brass Island, Bayelsa State, the Buhari administration is aiming to save more than N120 billion ($600 million) annually for Nigeria.
Already, Abuja has begun a feasibility study for the construction of the shipyard for the maintenance and repair services of cargo vessels, oil tankers and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) carrier. The project will also serve as a major boost to the country’s oil and gas sector.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, made this development public while chairing a kick-off meeting of the proposed shipyard project.
Sylva said the project which will be executed by China Harbour Engineering Company, has carried out similar projects across the globe. The Brass project will be used in ship dry-docking by upstream operating companies.
The minister pointed out that the feasibility study will be funded by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) as part of its overarching mandate to domicile key oil and gas industry infrastructure and increase retention of industry spend.
The scope of the feasibility study includes geotechnical and bathymetric surveys, conducting a market study, ascertaining an optimal construction scale, developing technical proposal and construction plan and estimation of the required investment to bring the project into reality.
According to the minister, the shipyard project will further develop and harness Nigeria’s position in the oil and gas value chain and linkage to other sectors of the economy as the high traffic of vessels in and out of the country provides a huge opportunity to retain substantial value in-country through the provision of dry-dock services.
While speaking on the prospects of the shipyard project, Sylva expressed confidence that the Nigeria LNG’s Train 7 project is expected to increase the company’s Liquefied Natural Gas capacity from 22 metric tonnes per annum (MTPA) to 30 MTPA and induce the acquisition of additional LNG carriers to the existing ones, all of which would need maintenance and servicing.
It is funded by NCDMB as part of its mandate to establish key oil and gas industry infrastructure and increase retention of industry spend, the feasibility study is expected to be complete roughly within a span of four months.
Sylva said that the actual construction works will be complete in six months’ time. The shipyard is mainly meant to cater to the maintenance and repair services of cargo vessels, oil tankers, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) carriers which are highly expected to increase with the completion of the implementation of the Nigeria LNG’s Train 7 project.
“It is such a shame and loss that most of the vessels that operate in the oil and gas industry, mostly in our country, are taken to Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and other countries for dry-docking because our local dry docks were built many years ago and no longer provide the required services”, says the minister.
Adding, he said the project will create employment opportunities for Nigerians and help the country to increase retention of industry spends, as well as develop and harness the nation’s position in the oil and gas value chain and linkage to other sectors of the economy.