French container carrier, CMA CGM is to handle the proposed 2.5 million Twenty Equivalent Unit (TEU) and 10,000 TEU container ships at Lekki port.
Already, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise has signed a memorandum of understanding with the shipping company.
This is coming barely a year after the Philippine port developer, International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), the first investor at the container terminal, halted an agreement to develop and operate the container terminal in May 2017
ICTSI backed out of its N85.5 billion ($225 million) investments from the $1.5 billion public private partnership (PPP) between the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State Government and Tolaram Group.
However, under the new agreement, the French carrier’s subsidiary, CMA Terminals, would be responsible for marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at the seaport.
It was learnt that the terminal would have two container berths once completed in 2020.
According to the Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, Farid T. Salem, larger container ships from Europe and Asia would berth at the port to better serve customers in the entire region.
With its 16-metre depth, it will allow the group deploy ships with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs.
The company said that the latest move was fully in line with CMA CGM Group’s development in the region.
The container terminal will allow the group to develop its presence into West Africa’s first consumer market and will serve as a transshipment hub, especially to neighbouring countries like Togo and Benin.
It was learnt that the container terminal would be equipped with a 1,200-meter-long quay as well as 13 quay cranes upon completion and would also have a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs.
When operational, the port is expected to contribute more than $500 billion to government’s treasury, while also creating close to 163,000 new jobs in the economy.
Already, Lekki Port has secured an approval of N57 billion ($150 million) funding from the Board of African Development Bank (ADfB) for its deep seaport project.