Lekki Port To Receive First Commercial Vessel By 2022

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The management of Lekki Deep Seaport has said the port is at advanced stage with plans to receive the first commercial vessel by 2022.

The Technical Director, Lekki Port, Steven Heukelom, who made the disclosure during a media tour of the Port, said work has reached advanced stage of the breakwater construction with about one kilometre work done out of the full length of 1.9 metres.

The Lekki Deep Seaport, located at the Lagos Free Trade Zone was awarded a 45 year concession by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on a Build-Own-Operate-and-Transfer (BOOT) basis.

The seaport, when completed would decongest the Apapa and TinCan seaports, and make Nigeria to have capacity to berth large containerships of about 18, 000 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit).

Heukelom said construction works are expected to be completed in 2021, while the deep seaport would have three containers berth of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth, three liquid and one dry bulk terminals.

He said: “We will also dredge the channels going up, the channels will be around 11 kilometres long before we reach the natural depth of 16.5 metres and then we are good to go.

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“In phase 2 in the future, when we will put the liquid jetties, the basin in the channel will be deepened to 19.5 metres. The maximum size of container vessel that we can receive will be 18,000 TEUs. So you can understand that having big ships like this in the port will be a game changer.”

Landside Infrastructure Manager of Lekki Port, Kunle Fadunmuye, explained that 30,000 X-blocks are being produced to reduce the wave impact along the port breakwater, adding: “There are three types of X-blocks, we have the three-meter, two-meter and the five-meter.

“The Breakwater is like an egg; its edge comprises the X-blocks while the core consists of quarry rocks.

“We will be having the whole 50 hectares of Lekki port floor covered with interlocking blocks. Presently, we are doing what is called the dynamic compaction to increase the bearing capacity of the soil.

“The breakwater that we are building here will stand serious wave impact. Aside the breakwater, we are also constructing the Groynes to complement the work of the breakwater. The Breakwater gives protection to the harbour areas from the sea waves.” he said.

On the access road and cargo evacuation, the Projects Media Counsel/Relationship Group Director, Adesuwa Ladoja, explained that efforts are ongoing between the project promoters and the Federal Government to connect the port by rail.

“The Federal Ministry of Transportation has written to us concerning linking the port to the national rail system, and efforts are being put in that direction to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of Apapa port,” Adesuwa stated.

The multi-purpose deep seaport is poised to be the deepest port in Nigeria, and the most modern port in West Africa offering critical support to burgeoning commercial operation in Lagos and the entire region.

Yetunde Adegoke

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