The Technical Director, Lekki Port Enterprises Limited, Steven Heukelom has assured that the Lekki Deepsea port will commence operations in 2022, when its first commercial vessel is expected to berth in the first half of that year.
“After operational readiness, delivery, testing and commissioning, the port will be ready to receive its first vessel,” he said.
The Director stated this while taking newsmen on a facility tour of the port on Wednesday, even as he recalled that the project started three years ago.
The Technical Director also said that, 50 percent of the breakwaters has reached an advanced stage of construction with about one-kilometre work done out of the full length of 1.9 metres projected. Heukelom disclosed that after completion, the deep seaport would have three container berth of 680 -metre long and 16.5-metre water depth, one liquid and one dry bulk terminals. He added that it will also have the capacity to berth large containerships of 18, 000 TEUs. The Lekki Port is being built on 90 hectares of land at the centre of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, approximately 60 km east of Lagos and will be the first deep water port in the West African country. He added that, “in phase 2 in the future, when we will put the liquid jetties, the basin in the channel will be deepened to 19.5 metres. The maximum size of the container vessel that we can receive will be 18, 000 TEUs. So you can understand that having big ships like this in the port will be a game-changer.” Speaking also ,the Landside Infrastructure Manager of Lekki Port, Mr Kunle Fadunmuye explained that 30,000 X-blocks are being produced to reduce the wave impact along the Lekki port breakwater. “There are three types of X-blocks; we have the three-meter, two-meter and the five-meter. “We are using sulphate resisting cement to build the X-blocks. The three-meter X-blocks are 7.2tons, the two-meter X-blocks are 4.2tons while the five-meter X-blocks are around 13tons. “The Breakwater is like an egg. Its edge comprises of the X-blocks while the core consists of quarry rocks. “We will be having the whole 50 hectares of Lekki Port floor covered with interlocking blocks. Presently, we are doing what is called the Dynamic Compaction to increase the bearing capacity of the soil. “The Breakwater that we are building here will stand serious wave impact. Aside from the Breakwater, we are also constructing the Groynes to complement the work of the Breakwater. “The Breakwater gives protection to the harbour areas from the sea waves.” In her presentation, the project’s Media Counsel/Relationship Group Director, Adesuwa Ladoja explained that efforts are ongoing between the project promoters and the Federal Government to connect the port by rail. “The Federal Ministry of Transportation has written to us concerning linking the port to the national rail system, and efforts are being put in that direction to ensure we don’t repeat the mistakes of Apapa port,” Adesuwa stated. Heukelom urged also the Federal Government to develop infrastructural facilities, while also organising the traffic into Lekki axis to avoid a repeat of the Apapa port.
“Only the private sector cannot address this challenge. We are challenging the government to line up infrastructure and organise the traffic in this axis,” he said.