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FG commends Lekki Port on eco-friendly measures

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…As it receives CMA CGM Scandola, Largest LNG Powered Vessel with 14,000 TEU

 

By Abiodun OBA

 

Nigeria aligns with reduction in the use of heavy hydrocarbons and increasing the use of LNG in maritime transport in tandem with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy 2023 to reduce carbon intensity in international shipping by at least 40% by the year 2030.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, disclosed as the Lekki deep seaport on Monday received the first and largest Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered container vessel to sail on Nigerian waters.

The vessel, CMA CGM SCANDOLA, with a carrying capacity of 14, 812 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) has a Length Overall (LOA) of 366 metres and a width of 51 metres is coming barely a week after the Lekki port berthed MAERSK EDIRNE, a 13,092 TEU vessel, measuring 367 metres in overall length with a breath of 48.2m.

Oyetola, represented by the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Muhammed Bello Koko, commended Lekki port for its eco-friendly measures.

The Minister reiterated that the ministry will continue to support NPA in its efforts towards ensuring stakeholders’ compliance with the IMO Sulphur Regulation on the nation’s waterways.

To this end, Oyetola said that the ministry has taken concrete steps towards the procurement of necessary tools to enhance NPA’s capacity for Sulphur analysis as well as put in place a sanction regime for vessels who contravene the Sulphur regulations.

“The Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is convinced that shipping has a pivotal role to play in global decarbonisation efforts, this is why I will like to seize this moment to commend the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority’s compliance with the Ministerial directive to take cognizance of global energy transition in its port modernization project by deliberately factoring in measures that promote energy efficiency.

“The imperative of making our Ports eco-friendly is no fluke.

“The driver of this change is the need to minimize the air pollution created in the shipping industry by reducing the Sulphur content of the fuels that ships use. So, transition to the use of natural gas which is more environmentally friendly by vessels plying our waterways is a most welcome development.

“To put action behind our word, we have taken concrete steps towards the procurement of necessary tools to enhance NPA’s capacity for Sulphur analysis as well as put in place a sanction regime for vessels who contravene the Sulphur regulations. This is driven by the larger national interest due to the fact that Nigeria’s gas quality is reputed to be high and virtually without Sulphur.

“I have said all of these to show that we align with the global discourse which posits that the reduction in the use of heavy hydrocarbons and increasing the use of LNG in maritime transport could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other pollution arising from international trade. This is a step in the right direction as we confront the challenges associated with climate change and air quality,” he said.

Oyetola added that apart from its distinctive feature of eco-friendliness, “Scandola” ranks amongst the largest container ships to be calling in West Africa with 15,000 TEUs.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said “In less than one year, this place was commissioned on the 6th of April 2023 given all of the difficulties of a big business like this, within that year, Lekki Free Port Terminal is receiving the biggest container terminal in the world at its premises.

“I think it’s a big feat something we need to roll out the drums and be proud of because what that is about is that we are putting Lekki Free Port, Lagos, Nigeria into World Global Logistics Marine Business. A business privileged to few developed countries in the world,” he remarked.

He added that the arrival of this large size of vessel has successfully enshrined the names of Lagos and Nigeria as one of the big movers of port transactions in the world.

“This is a business that has been privileged to a few developed countries in America, in Europe, in the Far East, in some parts of Africa as well. But now, given the size of the vessels that we can receive, the size of the business that can come to our community, the Lekki port and the Lekki Free port terminal have put and enshrined our name as one of the big movers of port transactions in the world.

“It is not taking anything away from the Lagos Ports, from the Apapa port, or from the Tin Can port.

“We know from time, and we’ve said it over and over again, that those ports were developed at a time when capacity of Nigeria was what it was, but our capacity has since grown and we knew as a nation, that we needed to think out of the box to build bigger infrastructure, bigger facilities, and we’re excited that we found a home in Lekki, in Ibeju Lekki here in Lagos, and also build a home for the Lekki Deep Port.

“Today, I’m excited and I’m delighted that I’ve been given the honour to also come and witness the arrival of this big port. And I think it speaks to what this government is about at the federal level, what the conversation has been, that indeed Nigeria, is ready for business.

“Nigeria is creating a business environment that investors can see that indeed this is a government that is committed, that is showing that businesses can thrive, can do well, and we really mean what we say.

“But more importantly for us in Lagos is to say to you that we’re excited, that these are exciting times for us. We believe we still have capacity for a lot more. We believe that Lagos can still take a lot more, ” he said.

The Governor appreciated the traditional institutions that facilitated peaceful atmosphere germane for business to thrive. He emphasized that “It’s only when there is peace and stability in the community that business and investment can flourish”.

Sanwo-Olu also expressed gratitude to international friends who have seen that indeed Nigeria is well open and ready for business.

He emphasized that the event was a testimony that it is the beginning of “bigger, better relationship”.

He enjoined Nigerian stakeholders, the Customs, regulators to live up to their biddings.

The Managing Director, Lekki Deep Seaport, Du Rougang, in his remarks said that the berthing of the vessel is creating a new plan for Nigerian ports.

“We want to ensure that Lekki Port plays a major role in the nation’s maritime industry,” he disclosed.

© 2024, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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