15 August 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – A private firm, Pinnacle Oil and Gas limited has concluded plans to build a mooring buoy facility in the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) to reduce cost associated with the shipment of petroleum products.
Disclosing this at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding ceremony between Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation (CPTDC) , Pinnacle Managing Director Mr Peter Mbah said that the Single Buoy Mooring project will gulp as much as $250million.
Mbah stated that the partnership with the China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation (CPTDC) and Lekki Free Trade Zone Company (LFTZC) Limited would lead to the development of the Nigerian downstream sector as the free zone provided a more convenient alternative to loading of oil products.
He explained that the Single Point Mooring facility at Lekki Free Zone would enable petroleum cargo vessels to anchor and discharge products via the network of undersea and onshore pipelines to respective tank farms adding that the Under the MOU executed by Lekki Free Trade Zone Company Limited, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited and China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation, Pinnacle is expected to complete the $250 million SPM facility with over 11 kilometres of subsea and on shore pipeline network by December 2013 when many of the tank farms proposed for the Zone would have also been completed.
“The Lekki Free Zone SPM couldn’t have come at a better time than now that government is withdrawing subsidy on petrol. Considering that factors which impact on the product price like demurrage and littering of cargo-using small vessels to take products from bigger vessels that cannot dock at the jetty due to the shallow draught, would be eliminated therefore reducing the landed cost of petroleum products quite considerably,” Mbah said.
Speaking in similar vein, Managing Director, Lekki Free Trade Zone Company Limited, Mr. Chen Xiaoxing, noted the strategic importance and location of the free zone as the new economic hub for Nigeria.
He noted that industry operators have found the Lekki Free Zone to be the most suitable alternative especially considering its location at the outskirts of Lagos and with proximity to the Ijebu Ode axis from where most trucks come to load petroleum products in Lagos.
He said the absence of mooring and discharge facilities at the Zone has denied oil and gas operators opportunity to tap the benefits of Lekki Free Zone adding that the SPM would address this challenge and enhance the position of the zone as major economic catalyst.
Single Point Mooring is an off-shore anchored loading buoy that serves as mooring point and interconnect to tankers loading or off-loading gas or fluid products
Managing Director, China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation Nigeria Limited (CPTDC), Mr. John Cooper, said the MoU was in furtherance of the commitment of the company to development of Nigerian downstream oil sector, especially working with indigenous oil and gas firms.
He added that Nigerian and Chinese firms should continue to explore opportunities to foster mutually beneficial interests expressing the readiness of his company to support the realization of the local content policy and full participation of Nigerian firms in the oil sector.
Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) is a joint venture between a China Corporation, which holds 60% stake, Lagos State Government and Federal Government of Nigeria, which hold 20% stake each. Conceived at the heart of Africa to connect the regional markets to the globe, Lekki Free Zone aimed to dissolve obstacles and boundaries towards encouraging growth, sustainable development and creating a brighter future for the people.