Hope rises for local content as ExxonMobil, NCDMB provide $975m, N61.18bn

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…Portland, Reviving Container Shipping Business***

There are indications that local content would be enhanced in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as ExxonMobil and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) have provided $975 million and N61.18 billion respectively to support indigenous operators.

The funds are expected to enable indigenous companies that face many challenges; including limited funding finance different projects and programmes.

The Chairman, ExxonMobil, Mr Paul McGrath disclosed this at the just concluded 7th Nigerian Content conference organised by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

‘’Am very passionate about local content development in Nigeria, stand here before you today, is an example of local content. Local content and development of local content is so important to me and also ExxonMobil is concern in deepen Nigeria content in our industry.

‘’ExxonMobil gives first consideration to local produced companies in Nigeria. We have been at the forefront of local content development in Nigeria. Nigeria local content is a moral obligation and is good for business because in Nigeria we have highly and semi-skilled workforce which we give total support to at all categories.

‘’When we talk about practical Nigeria content and implementation of local content,  ExxonMobil has been at the vanguard.” McGrath said that the company was one of the country’s highest producers of crude oil, accounting for almost 600,000 barrels per day of crude, condensate and natural gas liquids, which joint venture operation is over 90 offshore platforms from its Qua Iboe terminal operations area in Akwa Ibom State, comprising about 300 producing wells.

He said that ExxonMobil which had been in Nigeria for over 40 years with track records operates a world class facility in the country and also looks forward to boost its crude oil production.

In the meantime, after over a year and a half, Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 in Oregon will get a container shipping service as Singapore-based liner company Swire Shipping has committed to start a new service at the terminal as of next year.

Swire Shipping will begin offering a mix of general, non-containerized cargo and container service starting in January 2018, the Port of Portland said.

The deal was finalized last month during Governor Kate Brown’s trade mission to Asia when Brown and Curtis Robinhold, Port of Portland Executive Director, met with Swire executives in Hong Kong.

The ship call at Terminal 6 is likely to be monthly and includes export shipments of Western Star trucks to Australia, export containers to Australia/New Zealand, and import containers from Asia. The trucks are manufactured by Daimler Trucks North America at their Swan Island plant in Portland.

As highlighted by the port, this is a critical first step toward restarting container service at Terminal 6 and will aid in efforts to attract an additional service in the future.

“The port is focused on giving our local shippers a variety of options to move their goods efficiently,”said Robinhold.

“Most importantly, this signals that T-6 is open for business. We very much appreciate the growing partnership we have with Swire.”

Swire’s new shipping service is supported by a USD 250,000 Strategic Reserve Fund investment aimed at helping Oregon businesses get their products to international markets, and support Northwest shippers.

“While this is an initial step toward maximizing of T-6 long-term, it is pivotal to Oregon’s economic competitiveness and the growth of Oregon businesses,” the port added.

In 2015, German container line Hapag-Lloyd and Hanjin Shipping pulled out of the terminal following ILWU’s work stoppages and slowdowns. In 2016, Washington-based Westwood Shipping also abandoned the terminal leaving the port without a container service.

Vanguard with additional report from World Maritime News

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