Akwa Ibom government aims to collaborate with China Harbour Engineering Company for the actualisation of its multimillion naira Ibom Deep Sea Port Project in the Mbo Local Government Area. The project has been at a standstill after the host community petitioned for an alleged move to relocate it to another local government leading to the withdrawal of the initial main contractors from the project.
Recently Governor Udom Emmanuel received a delegation from the engineering contractor and subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, led by its chairman, Martin Chen in his office. During the meeting, the governor reiterated the commitment of his administration toward the actualisation of the Ibom Deep Seaport project, and also expressed the readiness of his administration to do all that is necessary to ensure the immediate commencement of work on the project.
Governor Emmanuel thanked the Chinese company for their interest in working with the Akwa Ibom State Government to ensure that the dream of having the Deep Seaport becomes reality. The Chairman of the China Harbour and Engineering Company, on the other hand, thanked Governor Emmanuel for receiving them and expressed their interest in working with the Government to realise the project.
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Mr Chen explained that the peaceful nature of Akwa Ibom State as being a factor that made it easy for them to make the decision to come partner in the construction of the Ibom Deep Seaport and expressed their desire to work with the state government to deliver on the project.
Ibom Deep Sea Port Project overview
The Ibom Deep Seaport project is one of the Federal Ministry of Transportation’s initiatives to augment port capacity in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, West Africa.
It is set to be carried out in two phases the first of which covers a total land area (inclusive of the dug-out basin) of approximately 505 hectares. This phase includes the construction of a 20km channel approach with a 450m design width to provide for 2-way vessel traffic, marine approach, channel depth and turning basin design based on a container vessel of 100,000 DWT; LOA 350m; Draft 15m; Beam 48m, 2 x breakwaters measuring 1,350m and 600m, and naval facility for security.
The second phase will occupy an additional 495Ha. It will include, designed for post Panamax vessels, a marine approach channel and a turning basin with a depth of 16m – 18m. The design is based on a container vessel of 100,000 DWT; LOA 350m; Draft 15m; Beam 48m. This phase will also include the development of a quay length of about 7.5km, and a berth depth of 14m – 16m.
The entire design of the Ibom Deep Seaport has provided an additional 1,565Ha of land area for future expansion of the port taking cognizance of projected growth in cargo volumes.
Development and expectations for the Ibom Deep Sea Port Project
Felak Concept Group, a professional consortium operating in diverse sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructural engineering, marine advisory/consultancy, digital solutions, learning and development, media consulting/solutions, design and remodelling, and Maritime and Transport Business Solutions, the leading international finance and strategy consultant in port business solutions for public and private clients, were appointed as advisers in 2012 to assist with the Outline Business Case (OBC) for preliminary assessment of the need and viability of developing Ibom Deep Seaport that was formerly called the Ibaka Deep Seaport.
The Federal Government of Nigeria’s approval for the Ibom Deep Seaport project to commence under a Public-Private Partnership arrangement was obtained in 2015 based on the approved Outline Business Case.
Upon completion, the Ibom Deep Sea Port Project which is designed for post and new Panamax size vessels will have several specialized terminals and it will serve as a trans-shipment port for the West and Central Africa region including JDZ Sao Tome, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun, Angola, Gabon, Congo, Congo DRC, Niger, and Chad, thanks to its strategic location.
The Ibom Deep Seaport is also planned to be a cargo gateway for the vast south-south, south-eastern, north-central and northeastern Nigerian markets as well as markets in West and Central Africa.