The management of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprises Limited , promoters of Lekki Deep Sea Port, has confirmed the delivery of two 80-ton Bollard Pull tug boats christened M.T MAIKOKO and M.T DA-OPUKORO, from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to enhance efficient port services and reduce cargo turn around time at the Port.
The neoteric tug boats are the first of the 2813 Azimuth Stern Drive model to be available in Africa, with a maneuverability of 360 degress which will enhance the maneuvering of large capacity vessels of 300 metres LOA and above. This is essential to Lekki Port for the smooth berthing of large vessels by assisting their movement from the approach channel to the quay wall and also departure from the Port.
According to Laurence Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Port, the provision of tug boats for Lekki Port by the Nigerian Port Authority is another crucial milestone for Lekki Port as a critical element of marine services. He added that the delivery of the tug boats would further position the Port as the standard bearer for port operations in West Africa.
He commended the Nigerian Port Authority for demonstrating a steadfast commitment toward the success of the Port as a shareholder and a regulator throughout the construction period and now with the commencement of commercial operations.
“The Nigerian Ports Authority have consistently shown their commitment to the success of Lekki Port, and this commitment is further demonstrated by the fact that they have invested in state-of-the-art equipment to ensure efficient provision of marine services by the Authority with regards to arrival/departure of vessels and technological systems that support the marine traffic process”, he said.
In his remarks on Friday, June 9, 2023, in Lagos, during the commissioning of the newly acquired marine crafts owned by the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the acquisition of the tug boats would enable Lekki Port to bring vessels of all sizes to the country.
According to Bello-Koko, the investment in maritime infrastructure demonstrates the agency’s resolve to assist in meeting the contemporary demands of trade facilitation.
“Our determination to continuously enhance our operational efficiencies accounts for the purchase of these new 80 Ton Bollard Pull Tugboats to complement our existing fleet of tugs and recently commissioned Security patrol boats and pilot cutters deployed to enhance channel security across all our locations’ he said.
“The state-of-the-art tugs we have commissioned today have one of the largest pulling capacities in West Africa today and will enable Nigerian ports to have the capacity to tow some of the largest container vessels currently sailing the ocean. This will be supported by recently purchased pilot cutters and mooring vessels, which continues the drive for greater efficiencies for the maritime industry here in Nigeria”, he added.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation during the commissioning ceremony noted that the purchase of the tugboats accentuated the determination of the Federal Ministry of Transportation to boost port operational efficiency.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Port, Du Ruogang was elated to receive the tugboats at Lekki Port over the weekend and he expressed his appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Ports Authority for fulfilling its obligations to provide marine services to Lekki Port.
ABOUT LEKKI PORT
Lekki Port is a multipurpose deep-sea port in the Lagos Free Zone and it is the most modern and deepest seaport in West Africa, offering critical support to burgeoning commercial operations in Lagos State, across Nigeria, and the entire West African region. The Port which commenced commercial operations in April 2023 operates in line with global standards and has world-class facilities.
Phase 1 of Lekki Deep Sea Port has one container terminal, which is currently being operated by Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of CMA CGM Ltd. The approach channel is about 11km long and 16.5m deep. The main breakwater is 1.9km long. The turning circle has a diameter of approximately 600m, sufficient to handle 18,000 TEU vessels.
There are two scanners to scan cargo upon arrival at the port, and the relevant regulatory agencies are fully on ground to ensure prompt clearance of cargo.
When fully completed, Lekki Port will have three container berths, one dry bulk berth, and three liquid berths which can service ships up to 160,000 DWT.
Top of the range tug boats are available to assist in the moving of the various vessels while the container terminal is equipped with the latest super-post Panamax, ship-to-shore cranes, and RTG cranes. The overall layout of Lekki Deep Sea Port is to ensure a modern, efficient facility which is fully automated.
Lekki Port is ideally positioned to service Nigeria and the surrounding West African region and easily lends itself to being a transshipment hub.