VENTURES AFRICA – World leading container terminal operator, APM Terminals and a consortium have revealled plans to build a multi-million dollar greenfield mega-port project and Free Trade Zone at Badagry, a suburb of Lagos State, Nigeria – 55 kilometres (34 miles) West of Apapa and the Port of Lagos – which will eventually emerge as one of the largest port in Africa.
On completion, the deep-water full-service port will have seven kilometres of quay and 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of dedicated yard that will include state-of the art facilities for container, bulk, liquid bulk, Ro/Ro and general cargo as well as oil and gas operations and a barge terminal.
The proposed Badagry mega port is being sponsored by a group of companies in consortium. They include: APM Terminals, Orlean Invest, the Macquarie Group, Oando PLC, the Chagoury Group and Terminal Investment Limited.
While the first phase of the Badagry Free Trade Zone is scheduled to open in 2016; plans for the adjoining project will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Depot.
“We are actively working with state and federal governments on the permission process,” Regional Chief Executive Officer, APM Terminals Africa-Middle East, Peder Sondergaard said.
He added that, “the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State and the Nigerian federal Government have been supportive and positive.”
Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar had cited the proposed Badagry Port project as an example of a public-private partnership development, which would help to address congestion and establish Nigeria as a maritime trading hub for West and Central Africa during his keynote address at the 12th Maritime Seminar for Judges in Abuja in June this year.
In accordance with the projects, the Benin-Lagos Expressway is currently being upgraded to a 10-lane highway, which will facilitate cargo movements to and from inland destinations in the region.
APM Terminals is one of the biggest port and terminal operators in Africa. Its businesses in west Africa expands to about eight West African nations, including West Africa Container Terminal in Onne , Nigeria and Apapa Container Terminal, Nigeria where it assume the role as the busiest container terminal in West Africa.The Apapa Container Terminal handles 600,000 TEUs in 2011, with throughput for 2012 projected to be 720,000 TEUs after it began operation in 2006.
Touted to be the largest country in Africa and the seventh-largest worldwide, Nigeria with its population of about 170 million people has the second-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after South Africa and it is driven by oil exports. Industry analysts have predicted that Nigerian container volume, which totaled 1.4 million TEU in 2011, will outstrip existing port capacity by 2017.