…Raises hope for $16bn Egina project completion

By Udeme Akpan

THE construction of Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited’s $3.3 billion Egina floating production, storage and offloading, FPSO, vessel has reached 98 per cent, thus raising hope for the completion of $16 billion Egina project.

Total’s Egina FPSO

Investigations, weekend, showed that many aspects of the project, including design, fabrication and welding, have been completed. Officials of Samsung Heavy Industries – Mega Construction Integration Free Zone, (SMI-MCI FZE), jointly established by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) and LADOL Integrated Logistics Enterprise were seen working to complete the remaining two percent of the project.

Consequently, delegates from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) that visited LADOL last Friday were impressed on the progress of work as well as the capacity of the company to enhance investment and create jobs in the African sub-region. Acting Director of USTDA, Mr. Thom Hardy, who led a five-man delegation to the LADOL Free Trade Zone in Apapa, Lagos, said the base would no doubt add value to youths development efforts of Nigerian governments at various levels.

The Egina FPSO project is being undertaken by Korea-based Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for TOTAL Oil Exploration, with LADOL acting as the local content partner.

Speaking with journalists after the facility tour, the American envoy said his team was on a fact-finding mission to ascertain how businesses were carried out in Nigeria so as to seek ways of encouraging American investors to invest in the country. Hardy, who was recently appointed by Donald Trump, the U.S. President, noted that it would always take some time for outsiders to understand a country’s needs and its business modalities in order to spot out investment opportunities.

Noting that it was for this reason that the delegation visited LADOL for an on-the-spot assessment of business in the facility, he said that USTDA had been a long time partner of the oil and gas logistics firm, assisting it in the installation of its power plant, IT system, among others.

Installation of its power plant

Hardy expressed optimism that United States’ investors would find the zone an interesting place to tap into.

On his part, Executive Director of LADOL, Mr. Jide Jadesimi, who conducted the visitors round the facility, commended the team for the visit and expressed the hope that the USDTA would be of immense benefit to the organization in its capacity-building quest in the sector. He said with the country’s huge population, if 2,000 people were trained in the facility, it would amount to a drop of water in the ocean, but when an agency like the USTDA get involved in partnering with industries across board, the impact would be felt well.

Earlier, the executive director had received a joint team of Federal Government officials as well as those of Lagos and Oyo states, who also came on fact-finding on reported skills development and capacity training potentials of the wholly indigenous company. The Federal Government team was led by Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the Presidency on Jobs Creation and Youths Empowerment, Afolabi Imokhuede, alongside the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, as well as Special Assistant to the Oyo State government on Education, Dr. Bc Akin-Alabi.

The Executive Director who lauded the teams’ visits also used the opportunity to ask the public sector to intensify their various collaborative efforts with the private sector, in capacity-building, especially in the oil and gas sector, which he noted offered huge opportunity for job creation.  He told the visitors that LADOL had created over 2,000 direct jobs and double of that figure as indirect ones, just as he disclosed that with the on-going FPSO facility project, an additional 1,500 jobs would be created in due course.

Mr. Jadesimi explained that work on the fabrication of the FPSO Egina project was at an advanced state, assuring that the base was fully ready to see the turnkey facility to an end.

He added that the fabrication of the project was very huge hence some components were being fabricated in a sister zone like the Snake Island also in Apapa, Lagos.

A few months ago, the ground breaking ceremony to mark the commencement of execution of the project was performed in Lagos by all the representatives of the relevant stakeholders including Samsung, LADOL Integrated Logistics Enterprise, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigerian Export and Processing Zones Authority and the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The Chairman of LADOL, Chief Oladipo Jadesimi  had said at the ground-breaking: “You can see we are on course, all outstanding issues have been resolved, the case in court has been withdrawn and we are set to go.

“On employment, this project at peak period will employ 1,500 people but all these people will not be employed at the same time because the project is in phases. We will employ a minimum of 1,500 people at the peak period of this project.”

The Deputy Managing Director of Total E & P in charge of Deepwater District, Mr. Ahmadu-Kida Musa had also stated that Egina was the company’s next deepwater field in development phase after the discovery in 2003 and the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FID) in 2013.

He stated that the company’s target is to produce 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Egina by 2018.

Musa had said the development of Egina by Total and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at a critical time when most other companies were not willing to invest was a demonstration of Total’s boldness.

According to him, for Total to embark on such $16 billion project when other companies were not willing, showed the company was confident in Nigeria’s operating environment.

Musa had also stated that a lot of the fabrication work for Egina field, which is located two kilometers into the waters, had been completed by Saipem, Nestoil, Nigerdock, Dorman Long and Aveon.

“Egina is the next field on development phase. It was discovered in 2003 with FID taken in 2013. It is in the same environment with Akpo in the same Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130.

“For Total to sanction $16 billion project when nobody was willing to invest shows the company’s boldness. Total committed hundreds of millions of dollars without guarantee. Egina FPSO is one of the largest in the world. Sometime in March or April 2017, the Apapa Wharf will be blocked when the 300 metres FPSO will come into the country.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.