NLNG Eyes $1.5 bln Debut Shipyard in Nigeria
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company (NLNG) is sponsoring the construction of the first major ship yard in Africa's biggest economy at the cost of $1.5 billion, in its attempt to turn the country into a hub for maritime operations on the continent.
Nigeria is the world's eighth biggest crude producer and Africa's top oil exporter but it does not have a drydock for maintaining and repairing large crude vessels, a major drawback for carriers sailing to the country, NLNG spokesman Tony Okonedo told Reuters.
Only South Africa had such a facility on the continent, Okonedo said, meaning that ships travelled a long distance for repairs. Nigeria has two facilities that can only accommodate small vessels, he said.
Okonedo said Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries have both agreed a $30 million commitment towards the construction of the facility, which would be located in Badagry, near Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos.
"It could potentially be used to transport the 2.5 million barrel a day crude business in Nigeria," Okonedo said on the sidelines of a media briefing.
(Reporting by Ohijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Toni Reinhold)