Construction of the seaport would require less dredging
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the construction of Bonny deep seaport in Finima, Rivers State will commence soon.
The port, which will cost $462 million (N367 billion), is to ensure that Nigeria returns as the maritime hub in the continent. The seaport will cover a land area of 274. 22 hectares through direct investment by Messrs China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Limited on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.
The Federal Ministry of Transportation had said that the construction of tge seaport with a capacity of 500, 000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) per annum and 100,000 dead weight (dwt) general cargo berth would require less dredging.
It would be recalled that the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Koko, had said that final studies would be made and conclusions reached.
He said: “It has a natural draft of about 17 meters. Nigeria has over 823 kilometers of coastline and we have always been saying that the idea of building deep seaports will bring more economic value to the country. Nigeria will eventually become a maritime hub in Africa or the West African sub-region.
“The port, which will have a capacity of about 500,000 TEUs on completion is a necessary infrastructure for Nigeria.The port project will usher a new era of tremendous economic prosperity for our dear nation and further consolidate our position as the regional trade hub in West and Central Africa.”
Also, Bello-Koko said that construction would kick off within the year and run concurrently with the construction of the Port Harcourt- Maiduguri rail line which also extends to the Bonny Deep Seaport. Also, in a statement by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe, the South-East part of the Island is also viable, saying that the most feasible might be the area to the West in Finima, as it would require less dredging.
According to him, experts had said that it would take only 500 metres of dredging at this point to get to 17metres draught which was government target for the depth of the seaport.
He said: “The moment you reclaim 500metres into the ocean, you get to 17metres draught. You don’t need further dredging. While on the other end, you need 1.16kilometers dredging to get to the water. It will be more expensive to dredge 1.16km than to build a rail line to this place. We can do the cost analysis and come to a decision.”
He stressed that the selection of the area, when finally decided upon would ensure that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipes would not be tampered with or moved for the rail lines extending to the seaport to be laid, adding that it would also be easier to pay compensations here and take the rail through this area instead of running it through the other end where there are pipes.