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CMA CGM inks Nigerian port container terminal deal

Construction is under way on Nigeria’s first deep-sea port and the deepest port in sub-Saharan Africa in a project that will help reduce congestion at the nearby Port of Lagos.

   The CMA CGM Group has inked a deal to operate the container terminal at Lekki Port, which is under construction and will be Nigeria’s first deep-sea port and the deepest port in sub-Saharan Africa.
   Situated 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of the city of Lagos, Lekki Port will be equipped with a container terminal, a liquid bulk terminal and a dry bulk terminal, according to the port’s website.
   Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE), a joint venture enterprise led by the Tolaram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority, is responsible for developing, building and operating the port.
   LPLE had entered into a concession agreement with the Nigerian Port Authority in April 2011 for the rights to build and operate a deep-sea port in Ibeju Lekki (a region within the state of Lagos).
   Just last month, LPLE CEO Navin Nahata said, “In 2017, China Harbour Engineering and Construction Company, our EPC contractor, started construction of the state of the art deep-sea port. Right now, work is going on very satisfactorily on the construction of the breakwater.”
   “In addition to this existing network, a number of new key road and bridge projects and expansion of existing highways are under development, connecting Lekki Port further into the hinterlands,” according to the port’s website.
   In regards to Lekki Port’s future container terminal, the CMA CGM Group revealed Monday it signed a memorandum of agreement with LPLE to operate the terminal.
   As the container terminal operator, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA CGM Terminals, will be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the port’s container terminal.
   Operations at the container terminal are planned to start at the end of 2020, and with its 16-meter depth, it will be able to handle 14,000-TEU containerships, the CMA CGM Group said.
   “Thanks to its position and capacity, Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger containerships from Europe and Asia,” CMA CGM Group Executive Officer Farid Salem said.
   The CMA CGM Group also explained how the container terminal will serve as a transshipment hub, especially to neighboring countries like Togo and Benin, and how the port will help reduce congestion at the Port of Lagos.