The management of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited has denied financial commitments towards the proposed $1.5 billion Badagry Dry Dock project.
The company, according to its General Manager, External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, dispelled recent media reports linking the project to the company.
“The attention of NLNG has been drawn to recent media reports on the proposed Badagry Dry Dock project, which purport is owned by Nigeria LNG. This is not true as Nigeria LNG is not the owner and is not investing in the building of any dry dock.
“Nigeria LNG has a singular business focus, namely processing and exporting LNG. It has no interest in investing in a dry dock anywhere in the world,” Eresia-Eke affirmed.
NLNG explained that the owner of the proposed dry dock in Badagry is a consortium of other Nigerian companies under the name of Badagry Ship Repair and Maritime Engineering Company (BSMEC), which NLNG is not a part of.
It maintained that its only interest was and still remains encouraging investors to consider building dry docks in the country to save the nation’s foreign exchange and save local ship owners, like NLNG, the trouble of having to go overseas for dry dock services.
”Nigeria LNG would thus be pleased to see more dry dock projects emerge in different parts of the country, but will not be investing in any. It is thus fair to add that not being an investor in dry dock, NLNG cannot dictate to investors where to site their projects.
“Nigeria LNG therefore appeals to those who are issuing threats based on wrong information, to review their position in the light of this clarification. Besides, threats can only discourage other investors from coming to the region.
“Please be assured that NLNG remains a good and valuable corporate citizen helping to build a better Nigeria,” the company said.
Observers of Nigeria’s maritime sector have long lamented the absence of an operational dockyard to cater for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, as existing dockyards can only handle smaller vessels.
Lack of such a facility meant that owners of large vessels in Nigeria and the West African region have had to pay large sums of money to docking facilities located mainly in Asia, Europe and the Americas, which can accommodate such large vessels.
By Pita Ochai