According to the Managing Director of Lekki Seaport, Mr Du Ruogang, the 3 Super Post Panamax Ships to Shore (STS) Cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) that arrived the Port on Friday 1st of July would be used for the first time in Nigeria.
Mr Ruogang acknowledged that the STS are highly sophisticated port equipment that will be put to use for the first time in Nigeria at Lekki Port, this feat he said will position Nigeria as the pacesetter in container operations in West Africa and a leader in the global maritime industry.
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According to the MD, what arrived Nigeria is the first batch of port machinery while the second batch consisting of 2 STS and 5 RTGs will be mobilized by August. He assured that by the time of the formal port operations commence there would have been 5 STS and 15 RTGs on ground.
For their tremendous commitment and support in ensuring that the Lekki Port project sees the light of day, Ruogang was full of commendation for key stakeholders including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos State Government, China Harbour Engineering Company and Tolaram.
The Cranes and RTG equipment which will be used in the container terminal will be operated by Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of CMA CGM Group.
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The STS and RTGs arrived Nigeria aboard ‘ZHEN HUA 28’ which left Shanghai China Deep Seaport about noon of 1st July 2022.
In his speech after the vessel berthed, Chairman of Lekki Port, Biodun Dabiri expressed great joy at the arrival of the STS and RTG equipment to the Port. He noted that the Zhen Hua 28 could only berth in Lekki Deep Seaport and nowhere else in the country due to the depth of the draught at Lekki Port.
The Chairman further recalled how the port project was conceived during the Obasanjo presidency, and since then different governors of Lagos state from Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola SAN, Akinwunmi Ambode and now Babajide Sanwo-Olu have all contributed immensely to the development of the port.
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He also acknowledged the contributions of Tolaram and China Harbour Engineering.
While speaking at the event, Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority described the delivery of the Cranes as historic noting that it signifies the readiness of the promoters of the port to take trade facilitation a notch higher while also optimizing the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to which Nigeria is a signatory.
According to him, Lekki Seaport being the first fully automated port would contribute greatly to enhancing port efficiency, adding that the NPA as a regulator is ready to work assiduously under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization in the deployment of the Port Community System (PCS) to enable it to respond squarely to the dictates of global trade facilitation.
General Manager of China Harbour Engineering LFTZ enterprise (CHELE), the EPC contractor of the port, Xie Xianju also expressed delight at the event noting that Lekki Port is the first project in Africa for China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which integrates investment, construction and operations. He added that the project is of utmost priority to CHEC and China.
He further noted that the arrival of the port equipment is a huge morale booster that will spur them to continue to work hard to complete the project’s construction by the completion date.