The Federal Government has begun its feasibility study for the construction of a shipyard in Brass Island, Bayelsa State, with the aim to cater for the maintenance and repair services of cargo vessels, oil tankers, and Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, carriers.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who chaired the project’s kick-off meeting last Thursday, said that the China Harbour Engineering Company, which had carried out similar projects across the globe and in Nigeria, would execute the project.
Chief Sylva also said the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, (NCDMB) would fund the feasibility study, as part of its overarching mandate to domicile key oil and gas industry infrastructure and increase retention of industry spend. Furthermore, he said the scope of the feasibility study includes geotechnical and bathymetric surveys, conducting a market study, ascertaining an optimal construction scale, developing technical proposal and construction plan, and estimation of the required investment to bring the project into reality.
Whiling speaking on the benefit of the development, he said the high traffic of vessels in and out of Nigeria provides a huge opportunity to retain substantial value in-country through the provision of dry-dock services and the Brass shipyard project would further develop and harness the nation’s position in the oil and gas value chain and linkage to other sectors of the economy.
Pertaining to the prospects of the shipyard project, Sylva mentioned that the Nigeria LNG’s Train 7 project is expected to increase the company’s Liquefied Natural Gas capacity from 22MTPA to 30MTPA and induce the acquisition of additional LNG carriers to the existing ones, all of which would need maintenance and servicing, further observing that the project would benefit from the upcoming implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, as Nigeria could serve as a hub for shipbuilding and repairs.