By Michael Eboh
NIGERIAâ€™S local content initiative received a major boost at the weekend when Nigeriaâ€™s premier ship building and repair company, Nigerdock Nigeria Plc took delivery of a gigantic oil rig belonging to Transocean International having secured the contract to refurbish it.
The jack-up rig, called â€œAdriatic VIII, weighing about 16,000 ton and measuring about 140 meters in height, equivalent to a 40-storey building, berthed at the companyâ€™s yard in Lagos, weekend, making it the first company to be entrusted with the repairs of a rig with such enormous size in the West Africa sub-region and second in Africa.
Speaking during a tour of the companyâ€™s facilities in Lagos, as parts of activities marking the feat, Group Executive Director, Jagal Group â€” owners of Nigerdock, Mr. Maher Jarmakani disclosed that the development is an indication of its technological advancement and acquisition of relevant capacities in offshore and pressure vessel fabrication, ship repair and maintenance among others.
He noted that the feat was achieved after many years of leading and driving the industrialisation of Nigeria through its activities.
He said, â€œNigerdock has come a long way in leading the industrialisation of Nigeria, providing employment and helping in driving the countryâ€™s economy to greater height. We have continuously raised our technology and capacities, showing that those things that can be done elsewhere in the world can also be done in Nigeria.
â€œWe have been working on getting to this point for the last five to six years. This vessel and others of its kinds were previously repaired and maintained in South Africa and Europe. Before we got the contract, Transocean tested our capabilities and maybe, that of others, but we are the one that got the job. Our track record helped in no small measure in winning us the contract.
â€œWith this major feat, we have proven that rigs and vessels working in Nigeria and around the West coast of Africa can actually be repaired in Nigeria, reaping huge income for the country and driving the local content initiative.â€
Jarmakani added that the current achievement is a sign of better things to come for the company and for the country, opening a wider door of opportunities, as many other companies would be attracted to it.
He disclosed that the next stage in its plans is the fabrication and integration of Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel and also the building of rigs in Nigeria.
He noted that it has already commenced the fabrication of topsites of vessels, but its vision is to integrate them here in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mr. Uyi Omoregie, Nigerian Content Development Coordinator, Offshore Project Management, NigerDock, disclosed thatÂ the repairs of the rig will last for two weeks.
He said, â€œThe three-leg 70m x 70m rig weighs a massive 16,000 tons with each leg measuring 140 meters in height, equivalent to a 40 storey building, making it one of the tallest structures in Lagos today. The rig will be at
Nigerdock for the next two weeks as it undergoes repairs and can be seen from as far as Lagos Marina and Victoria Island.
â€œNigerdock, along with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Content Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have laboured hard to make this historic feat a reality in Nigeria.
â€œNigerdockâ€™s shipyard facility is the largest of its kind in West Africa. It is the only yard in Nigeria approved by the United States Coast Guard for inspection of American flagged vessels. The shipyard is specialized in ship repair, maintenance and refurbishment. It is accredited by Lloyds and ABS for conducting thickness measurements of hull structures.