- Senate Faults $1.6 Billion Lekki Deep Seaport Project
The Senate has raised concerns on the approvals granted for the construction of the Lekki Deep Seaport without due consideration for intermodal railways services.
The Senate Committee on Marine Transport discovered during the oversight function at ports facilities in Lagos, that the all-important project was approved without train channel, which is key to shipping business.
The committee led by its Chairman, Ahmad Sanni, said the current situation of road gridlock experienced in the Apapa axis might replicate itself at the Lekki Deep Seaport, if necessary consideration was not given to a good road network including rail haulage.
The multi-billion dollar project was approved by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in 2009, with a Chinese firm Tolaran Group as the promoter. Other partners in the project include the Lagos State Government and NPA.
The Director, Lekki Deep Seaport, John Mastoroudes, said the company has discovered the shortfall in the master plan and is presently ready to inculcate the railway network in the project, if the Federal Government decided to include it in the plan.
Mastoroudes said the company is currently working with Lagos State government to improve the road network linking the seaport, which is located within the Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
“We are very much aware that railway is a good means of transport to shipping business, unfortunately Nigeria has lag behind in railway. The Ministry of Transport and Lagos State Government know much about railway. It is very important and we are making a definite discussion on the railway, although it has not been finalised but it is definitely in our thought,” he said.
The Port Manager, Stephen Herculum, said Lagos State government has promised to construct some roads around the port commencing from 2017. These include the expansion of the Lekki road, construction of Eleko road, a new link road and bridge that will be connecting Lekki expressway to Lagos (Victoria Island).
He stressed that the company is much more interested in the road construction now, but the railway is not in the master plan.“As soon as Nigeria incorporated the railway, we are ready to comply and take it as priority. This will guide against the replication of the traffic congestion that we are seeing in Apapa now” he said.
The project is designed to be a mega seaport with three jetties with a 14 meter draft to be dredged to 19 meters progressively. It has a 300 meter dry bulk facility with capacities to import/export different products including solid minerals and petroleum products.
Construction has commenced and the project is expected to be completed and commissioned by November/December 2019.He said the hydraulic studies (which are in five stages are on going, while mobilisation of plants and equipment have started.
South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company
The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).
The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.
The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.
Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.
While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.
“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”
The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.
Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked
Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.
On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.
“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.
“Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.
Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.
However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.
Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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