Nigeria may have moved closer to the realisation of the ideals of the Local Content policy with the commencement of partnership between an indigenous oil and gas logistics provider, LADOL and Korean-based Samsung company, in the establishment of an integration facility in the country.
The $250 million project known in industry parlance as Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) platform, is expected to blaze the trail as Africa’s first of its kind in Greenfield project development in the region’s oil and gas industry.
The Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics base (LADOL), where the project is to be sited, is said to be the only indigenous logistics services provider in the country, strategically located off the Apapa seaports in Lagos.
Samsung Heavy Company on the other hand, is a leading international offshore EPC company with interest in shipbuilding, offshore business development and marketing concerns.
The partnership deal was set in motion last week, with the two organisations conducting a joint presentation of what the project involves, to the admiration of top officials of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), as well as representatives of the international oil companies (IOCs).
NPA’s General Manager, Ports Planning, Mr. Sunny Nwobi, represented the Managing Director, Engr. Omar Suleiman; and accompanied by the General Manager, Western Zone, Mallam Mohammed Bulangu; the General Manager, Corporate Affairs; Chief Michael Ajayi; and the Port Manager of Apapa Ports Complex, Mr. Joshua Asanga.
The NCDMB was similarly led by Engr. Taiwo Elegba, who represented the Executive Secretary, Engr. Ernest Nwakpa.
In attendance also were Engrs., Ikpomnwonsa Oviasu, and Okorie Chijoke.
Chairman of LADOL, Mr. Ladi Jadesimi, who conducted the guests round the facilities, prior to the presentations, said that the partnership had become necessary in order to set the pace for future building of FPSO facilities to serve the country and beyond.
According to him, no country in Africa for now, has the facility to integrate the project, adding that if Nigeria embarks on it now, “what it means is that all the jobs, all the foreign exchange, trainings for the FPSO, will now flow to Nigeria, rather than the trend continuing with the capital flight that goes with it”.
Jadesimi noted that up till now, such structures were still being built and floated abroad, noting that with the commencement of the project, only the shelf will now be transported to Nigeria where all the facilities will be fabricated and installed locally.
He pointed out that by so doing, more than half of the entire cost will now be expended in Nigeria with all the ancillary benefits of jobs creation, technology transfer and trainings.
Jadesimi also pointed out that in terms of benefits to Nigeria as a Free Zone, “when they bring in the shelf and build –in all the fabrications in Nigeria…, if the facility is to leave for the offshore located within the country, customs duties will be paid…and this runs into billion of naira. On the other hand, no duty is paid if the facility is taken to an offshore base outside of the country”.
Also speaking on the project, leader of the Samsung Korea team, Mr. Harris Lee, said that the project was targeted at making Nigeria the central hub for Oil and Gas engineering and fabrication in the West-African sub region.
He said that the company has taken steps to ensure the preservation of the Nigerian Content Act, by ensuring that Nigeria takes a minimum of 54 per cent of the project needs, while Korea would retain the remaining 46 per cent.
He further disclosed that his company was still discussing with the Nigerian Content Board with the possibility of Nigeria clinching more of the equity holding, “depending on what we would arrive at after considering all other variables”.
Lee, who said that the project construction would last for about 18 months and to be located within LADOL yard, disclosed that the partners had taken notice of the need to maximize the Nigerian goods and services and make available needs such as locally made valves, paints, cables and others.
To this end, he said that bids would be invited from approved project vendors list to be provided by the NCDMB, thereby giving Nigerian companies the first priority of supply, even as Nigeria and Nigerians would benefit from the transfer of technology, employment and trainings.