Nigerian Developer Plans US$2.9bn Port and Industrial Zone in Niger Delta

A Nigerian company, Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC), is planning to construct a port and industrial zone in the Niger Delta.

By Diana Wachira on
25th March 2021

The company intends to develop a 20,000 hectares Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC) that will include a deepwater seaport, an international airport, and a free trade zone. The cost of the development is estimated at US$2.9 billion.

The free trade zone will contain an oil refinery and residential and retail units. The 20,000 hectares project will be built in two phases. The first phase will be the port complex, and the second will be a navigable channel into the port’s hinterland through Benue and Niger rivers.

The industrial estate will be located on Snake island, which is off the coast of Lagos.

The project is awaiting approval from the governor of Delta State. The chair of MMCC, Andrews Okoja, reported that the public-private partnership scheme has already obtained provisional approval. He also said that he’s assembling a team of consultant financiers and partners. Saying this at a recent meeting in Lagos last month, he added that the Port of Antwerp would handle the maritime infrastructure. UK engineer James Cubbit will over the work on the land.

The PPP scheme is being developed in collaboration with Nigeria’s federal government and the Delta State government. In November 2019, the Port of Antwerp signed a collaborative agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority to further the country’s development. Kristof Watrshoot, the managing director of Port of Antwerp, said, “We will start working together with the MMCC team on further developing the Escravos Seaport project together with other partners – and there are a lot of them available.”

Photo: Niger Delta Bridge linking Onitsha in Anambra state, Nigeria, to Asaba in Delta state, Nigeria. (Lightshot1 | Wikimedia Commons)

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