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Oando’s island jetty set to bloom



…As Lagos Channel Management teams up with NPA for first trial ship berthing!

Oando’s dream of establishing an Island jetty near Ijora, in Lagos may soon be realized as the Lagos Channel Management (LCM) moves into the final phase of widening the channel, a preparatory stage before the first set of vessels may resume trial tests, into the Jetty.

Antelope plough

Antelope plough

The jetty which is slated to receive tankers of around 50 ton or more dwt was a brain child of the Oando, in collaboration with the Nigerian ports Authority, ably backed by the LCM, whose major task ws to deepen the area till it attains draft of at least, 12 metres.

Created on genuine vision, determination and technology, the Business Monitor was told that on completion, the jetty guarantee that products vessels could easily moored and offloads, without such vessels coming to land.

”It would be like a small jetty that is constructed on dolphins. So, if a ship is coming, it would be like berthing on Island. So, when a tanker comes, it would be hooked on the dolphin” indicated the Managing Director of the LCM, Mr. Danny Fuchs, who noted that from the dolphins, the engineers would however run pipes, going under the sea bed, from where it heads towards land, until it comes out finally in a designated or desired location.

“However, from the dolphins, there would be pipes, going under the sea bed. There is a special technology on how to drill these pipes; under the sea bed and it goes down the channel sea bed and comes out in any area you want it. The idea was that instead of making a jetty on land, the jetty should be on the water.

“But then, if they have to do that, because the tankers must come, then the area needs to be deep enough. And that is where the LCM comes into it. Initially, the place was not deep enough for what they were looking for, because they were looking at what could easily accommodate a tanker of 50,000dwt. So, it means they actually need a depth of at least 12 metres or more” he stated further, explaining that the area, originally was not part of their dredging target.

The LCM Boss observed that although year 2014 was the scheduled date of completion, their plans had to be modified, enhanced and made more encompassing, to ensure enduring success of the important project.

“All hands are now on deck and everyone is working hard to achieve this. As a matter of fact, we are working towards preparing for a test tanker to come in; because right now, we are almost through” he pointed out.

Pressed to expatiate on the peculiarity of the challenges, Fuchs explained that the nature of the sea bed, particularly, the hard clay which hindered dredging was a major problem; thereby necessitating the involvement of the mother company, the Depasa, which timely came up with the introduction of a special 35 ton puller vessel, to overcome the tricky job.

“The material of the sea bed was not sand. It was not clay. It was a mixture of sand and clay. It is not compact sand. So, it is in some area, very hard sand, in some area, very hard clay and in some other, a hard mixture of the two.

“So, it was for this reason that we invited our technical partner, the Depasa, which now came up with a solution that involves moving away from the traditional solution. The Depasa came up with this idea that was like cutting the hard materials up with a knife; and thereafter a special vessel could either lift the bits in pieces, before another one scrapes it clean!

“The Depasa therefore, bought a special vessel; one of those ones used for special operation of salvaging the Cosco Concordia in Italy. The Cosco Concordia was a huge operation. A lot of companies bought into it; and when the project ended, some of them just didn’t need the equipment again. So, it was while they were selling them off, that the Depasa bought off some of them, especially this remarkable vessel Shawl Buster with strength of 35 ton buller pull.

“The idea was that the Shawl Buster would do something akin to plough first, then digging and scratching up the layers of the hard sea bed; and thereafter, a hopper would come after it, suck it out, before a sweeper would come in and keep it smooth. The name of the sucker is the Antelop. The Antelop came to Nigeria in August 2014 and since then she has been working in this area together with Hopper Dredger named ASTRAL.

“Because of the nature of the current there, the area is a very tricky place; you cannot bring in a big dredger, because the space for maneuvering is small. So, one specially needs some small but flexible dredger. We have been at it; and the unfolding results are very encouraging.

“In the beginning, what we wanted to do was to create something like a channel, for the ships to enter and moored, but now from all indications, it’s like we have even achieved more than that.

“We have a very remarkable working relationship already. The Nigerian Ports Authority, the Oando and the LCM working together, to fruitfully bring in the first set of vessels, beginning with the first test vessel. We are already tidying up all the technical aspects; including connecting the terminal to the land –under the sea bed. The operation is very unique and nice.

Tasked to speak on developments in other sphere of the channel, the Channel Boss gave a description of a channel, optimally working according to desired vision.

“Our on-going programme is running perfectly. We are further deepening some areas. The bigger ships, particularly the WAFMAX (the West African Maximum vessels) are coming, more frequently now; and none of our stakeholders are complaining.

“Some of the vessels are coming at a draft of 13.5 metres, or more. The bigger vessels are coming, impressively sailing in direct from the (Far) East into Lagos, bringing in, full load cargo; and you can conform this from the published reports from the NPA. So, you can also obtain the reports of 2009 with that of 2014 to see the remarkable progress already attained. You can identify this from the number of container being moved, the quantity of bulk and the frequency of ships movement it’s like its more than doubled now. The ships coming in now are bigger, heavier and with increasing regularity.

“Beside, a lot of them like I told you, are also coming directly now, without first sailing into South Africa or Ghana or anywhere else to first lighten up!”, he concluded, praising the port authority and other stakeholders, for adopting other new measures that would ensure that enhanced performance and productivity, especially through laudable investment in information management.

“The Ports Authority and terminal operators are already working commendably towards increased efficiency and productivity. You can assess their vision through investments in electronics facilities. Their ship manifest and information system management is going more electronically now. They are highly proactive and their response-time is remarkable. I am genuinely impressed by all that they are doing now”, Fuchs concluded.

Business Monitor


WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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