The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has started looking for investors for a greenfield port in the southern part of the country.
Able to serve new Panamax Class vessels — mid-sized cargo ships capable of passing through the Panama Canal, the Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) will be situated in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom state within a licensed free trade zone.
Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State Government (AKSG) is looking for an investor that will enter into a joint venture arrangement with sponsors to fund the construction through a public private partnership arrangement.
The port will have a channel of 18.24 metres, a turning basin and berth depth of 16.72 metres, and a quay length of about 7.5 kilometres.
When fully developed, the container terminals will be able to accommodate up to 13 Panamax Class container vessels and two very large feeder vessels.
AKSG has revealed that the port will take up 2,565 hectares of land within the Ibom Industrial City complex.
It will serve as the key maritime gateway for Nigeria, West and Central African region and hinterland countries.
The FGN and AKSG plan to both have a 20% share of the port, with a private sector investor taking the remaining 60%.
A 50-year concession is open for the development and operation of the IDSP.
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IDSP has estimated that the transshipment container market for the IDSP will grow from about 1.2 million TEUs in 2021 to about 4 million TEUs in 2040.
Global Maritime and Port Services, a Singapore-based maritime service and port consultancy group, is the transaction advisor for the project.
The IDSP plan to design the port for vessels that can load over 13,000 containers in one voyage.
It will be a transshipment port that will serve smaller vessels and re-distribute cargo from the mega vessels to seaports and river ports that are closer to the consignees in Nigeria and West and Central Africa.
In a statement on its website, the IDSP said: “The IDSP is positioned to offer a value proposition superior to other seaports in the region.
“Available data indicates that the various seaports currently serving the West and Central African sub-region are reaching saturation and the need for viable alternatives has become critical for major shipping lines sailing these routes.
“With limited land to expand the existing seaports in Lagos and the inhibiting conditions against the development or expansion of other ports in neighbouring countries, the Ibom Deep Seaport offers an ultra-modern deep seaport with modern cargo handling equipment, facilities and systems that can address the capacity challenges constraining other seaports across the region.
“The greenfield site has substantial land available for future expansion.”