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Pinnacle signs MoU to build N39b mooring facility at Lekki Free Zone

By on December 19, 2011

Pinnacle Maritime/ Oil and Gas Limited, has entered into a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lekki Free Trade Zone Company Limited (LFTZC) and the China Petroleum Technology and Development Corporation (CPTDC) to build a $250 million Single Point Mooring (SPM) facility at the Lekki Free Zone.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the MoU in Lagos over the weekend, the Managing Director of the company, Peter Mbah said embarking on the $250 million Single Point Mooring (SPM) project demonstrate the technical knowledge and financial strengths of the indigenous company.

Mbah said 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.

According to him, 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.

Under the MOU executed by Lekki Free Trade Zone Company Limited, Pinnacle and China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation, are 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 premium motor spirit (pms) otherwise known as petrol. Considering other factors which impact on the petroleum products 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.

Managing Director, Lekki Free Trade Zone Company Limited, Mr. Chen Xiaoxing, said the strategic importance and location of the free zone, as the new economic hub for Nigeria cannot be quantified.

According to him, following the congestion and the environmental hazards posed by the proliferation of petroleum products tank farms at the Apapa/Kirikiri axis, industry operators have found the Lekki Free Zone 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.

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 per cent stake, Lagos State Government and Federal Government of Nigeria, which hold 20 per cent 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.

Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) comprises 16,500 hectares to the southeast of the city of Lagos, two peninsulas of infinite opportunities bounded by the Lekki lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean.