The work on the Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) on the southern coast of Nigeria has reached an advanced stage as call for expressions of interest is about to be issued to respective investors, said the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon at the meeting of the Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee that was held last week in the country’s capital of Abuja.
He said: “Port development is not just as building a sky-scrapper or any building for that manner; there’s a lot of paper work that’s involved. For us to get to the procurement stage, I will say about 75% of the work has been done and I am certain that by second quarter of next year, it will be ready.”
Ibom deep seaport is designed for large container vessels of 13,000 TEU and will have a capacity of 9 mln TEU. It will act as a transshipment port, wherefrom cargo will be re-distributed by feeder vessels to other sea and river ports serving the western and central African sub region including Sao Tome, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun, Angola, Congo, Congo DRC, Chad.
The port has 5,129 hectares of land for development and is to be constructed in two stages. Phase 1 involves the development of a 20km approach channel of 450m width to provide for two-way vessel traffic, a marine approach channel which depth and turning basin is designed for 100,000 DWT container vessels with LOA 350m, draft 15m and beam 48m. The new port will also comprise a Naval facility for security.
Up to now, the project has obtained the Federal Government approval and completed the Environmental Impact Assessment. It is driven by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Akwa Ibom State and the Nigerian Ports Authority, with the international advising from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Singapore-based port engineering consultancy company Global Maritime and Port Services Pte Ltd.
The port is being developed on a design, build, finance, maintain, operate and transfer concept, with a 50-year concession obtained from the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC). Upon completion, the new port will be owned by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Ports Authority in partnership with Akwa Ibom State Government and private investors.
However, the new port may face competition from other deep seaport projects promoted by other Nigerian states, such as those in Lekki and Badagry driven by the Lagos State government and another one in the Cross River State. But all these three projects came after the Akwa Ibom State government had unfolded its plans, writes Nigerian Portnews.