The technical partner of the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), in the building of $3.8 billion Egina oil production vessel at LADOL's Free Zone, Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI), has said that the hull of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) being built in Korea, is expected to arrive in Lagos in the first quarter of next year.
LADOL is currently playing host to the fabrication of a $3.8 billion oil and gas logistics service facility-FPSO rig, otherwise called the Egina project.
The project, which has been described as first-of-its-kind in the Sub-Sahara Africa, is being built for Total Oil Exploration and Production Company, with LADOL acting as the local content partner.
Giving an update on the project when a team from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) led by Chapp Jumbo, comptroller Free Zone Enterprises of NIS and General Manager, Operations, Private Zones of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Muazu Muhammadhadi Ruma, visited LADOL, Egina Project Manager for SHI, Frank Ejeze, said that there is still ongoing work on the vessel in Korea, which made it impossible for the FPSO to arrive third quarter of 2017 as earlier proposed.
According to him, the facility was built by Nigerians under the supervision of Koreans as about 1200 Nigerians and 150 foreigners, had worked on the project especially at peak period. The project manager further stated that work at the integration site in LADOL has neared completion.
The visiting team was conducted round the facility by Executive Director of LADOL, Jide Jadesimi. An official of NIS who spoke to THISDAY during the tour, said the team was very impressed with the things on ground.
He said that LADOL Free Zone has what it will take to turn Nigeria's economy around.
The official told THISDAY that the Free Zone has the potential to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and earn foreign exchange for the country.
"Under Free Zone arrangement, companies are given waivers on expatriate quota, which is part of the incentives that Free Zones offer. Therefore, expatriates working in Free Zones don't require quota in order to ease off bureaucratic bottlenecks and cut down red tape in their operations. However, the companies bringing them must have an operating license issued by NEPZA," he stated.
On the likely support NIS offers FTZ, the comptroller said that the Immigration has desk officers situated at every Free Zone, to attend to every need of the operators and synergise with the enterprises in the zone to facilitate the issuance of their facilities.
However, the immigration official advised the management of LADOL to always work in harmony with its desk officers in order to reconcile any challenges facing their operations because, 'our officers are always willing to provide solution at anytime'.
On his part, Ruma of NEPZA said that the project, which started years back, has put the promoters through several challenges, but it got to the stage it is today due to the level of commitment the promoters have towards the completion of the project.
"This project is being developed in Nigeria by Nigerians and for Nigerians. Therefore, we at NEPZA have to accord them our full support because it is a platform for FDI and it provides great opportunity for the training of Nigerian engineers because we need the knowledge transfer this facility offers," he said.