The $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport has been commissioned for commercial operations by President Muhammadu Buhari today. Described as the largest seaport in West Africa, the seaport brings a revolution to the trading and transportation of goods in Nigeria. The Lagos seaport will also serve as a major driver for economic growth in the region.
The commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport was heralded by the berthing of the largest container vessel, named the CMA-CGM. The vessel’s arrival was announced by the Nigerian Ports Authority via their Twitter handle. CMA-CGM is reportedly owned by a French shipping firm. The Nation’s Ports Authority also noted that the vessel’s arrival confirmed the readiness of the authority to provide full-time marine services for seamless port operations.
This commissioning comes at a time when the nation’s economy is battling for survival, with debt servicing overshooting revenue. Started in 2020 as a multi-purpose vehicle, the Lekki Port management is projecting a revenue target of $ 361 billion.
Lekki Deep Seaport
The seaport spans over 600 meters, with an approach channel of 11km. It is large enough to contain a vessel of up to 16,000 standard containers (TEU). It has three terminals: The container terminal, the liquid terminal and the dry bulk terminal. The container terminal has an initial draft of 14 metres, which can be stretched to 16.5 metres. According to reports, it can also handle 2.5 million twenty-foot standard containers per year.
Known as the first port in Nigeria with ship-to-shore cranes, the deep-sea port in Lekki can reach and unload the rearmost row of containers. The ship-to-shore cranes have a fixed rail at the quayside, that can lift 65 tons in twin-lift mode, 50 tons in single-lift mode or 85 tons under a hook.
Also, with the port’s computerised system, human interactions and physical operations will be minimized. This is because the computerised system will allow container identification and clearance from the office.
Phase 2 of the Lekki Deep Seaport
Phase 2 of the seaport will have three liquid berths. The liquid cargo terminal will handle vessels up to 45,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) and can expand to reach a capacity of 160,000 DWT. Newsmen also report that liquids (like petrol or diesel) will be handled at a tank farm near the port. The docking area is equipped with loading arms. It is also connected by pipelines along the breakwater.
Nigerians are expectant that the multi-billion dollar Lekki deep sea port would provide an alternative source of revenue to the government and raise the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP).
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