A new shipyard is planned for construction on Brass Island, Bayelsa State in Nigeria to serve liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers and the local oil industry. China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) was chosen to conduct the feasibility study, performing a geotechnical and bathymetric survey, as well as a market study.
CHEC is operating these works under a contract with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), which is funding the study. CHEC will be responsible for producing a technical proposal, as well as a plan and cost estimate for the shipyard project.
The shipyard is expected to generate in-country value by reducing flows of cash outbound while creating local job opportunities for Nigerians. According to Minister of State for Petroleum Resources H.E. Chief Timipre Sylva, the country’s intense petroleum-related vessel activity provides numerous opportunities for the retention of domestic value through the provision of drydock services.
H.E. Minister Sylva also added that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement could largely benefit the shipyard project, as it will help to establish the country as a regional hub for shipbuilding, repair and ship services.
Nigeria is currently undergoing a major natural gas production expansion plan. The Train 7 project, conducted by Nigeria LNG, is set to increase LNG output from 22 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 30 mtpa, a more than 30% increase.
As a result, the shipyard project aims to build capacity on the back of the Train 7 project. NCDMB’s Executive Secretary Simbi Wabote said the project is part of the country’s initiatives to reach 70% Nigerian content in the oil and gas industry by 2027.
According to the project schedule, the feasibility study should take around four months and construction works should be finalized in 2021.
Nigeria’s petroleum sector is essential to the country’s economy, as it is the fifth largest LNG exporter worldwide and Africa’s largest oil producer.