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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Nigeria aims to start operations at $1.5bn Lekki port in 2018

Rendition of the Lekki port Rendition of the Lekki port

Nigeria’s $1.5 billion Lekki Port is set to be operational by 2018, according to the chief finance officer for the port project Sandeep Parasramka.

The announcement follows the finalisation of engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contract and funding talks that signalled the start of the 41-month-long construction contract. A large share of funding has come from the African Development Bank (AfDB) which in septemeber approved terms of a loan to Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE) for the construction of the greenfield seaport 60km east of Lagos, Nigeria.

“AfDB approval signals clearance of project’s environment and social impact in line with World Bank guidelines. We have few more international commercial banks who are also in the process of securing their credit approvals. All the banks are very keen to participate in the project given its strategic importance, competitive advantage, good financial returns and strong government support,” Parasramka said.

LPLE, which is owned by Singapore’s Tolaram Group, holds a 45-year concession to build and operate the Lekki deep water port within the Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). Alongside the funding from the AfDB a further €160 million has been approved in principal from the board of the European Investment Bank.

The container terminal is expected to have an annual capacity that could eventually reach 2.5 million TEUs. The Lekki port will also feature a liquid bulk terminal (capacity: 16.7 million tonnes) and a dry bulk terminal capable of accommodating Panamax vessels (capacity: 4.5 million tonnes).

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