By ORU LEONARD
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has said the on-going construction of the multi-billion dollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) project will increase the knowledge base of NIMASA as a safety Administration and enhance its regulatory capacity.
The Director General who made this known during a meeting with the Executive Vice President of Samsung, Mr Younsang Won, Representatives of Total Nigeria and the Vice President in charge of Egina project, Yongho Jo, while on a working visit to inspect the project at the Samsung Shipyard in the Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje, South Korea, said that the project which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria will increase the knowledge base of NIMASA and ultimately fetch the country the much needed foreign exchange.
According to the DG, “this project is the first of its kind in Nigeria, it will increase our knowledge base of inspection techniques, certification and rules for maintaining classification and ultimately benefit the Nigerian economy in terms of foreign exchange.”
He also assured Total and other prospective investors that the Agency would continue to create a conducive environment for investors to be able to be confident to come up with projects of this nature.
According to him “This is a mega offshore project that will bring out the best in us, let me assure you that we will discharge our responsibility as the facilitator of maritime business in Nigeria and ensure that our maritime domain remains safe and secure for this kind of projects, we will give both Samsung and Total Nigeria necessary support to actualize the Egina FPSO project for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians “Dakuku Peterside said.
Dakuku further commended Samsung and Total oil for having faith in Nigeria and its effort to comply with Nigerian content law. He particularly commended Samsung for having NIMASA Surveyors on ground at South Korea to work with world class classification societies on the project which will make certification and passage of the project easier and faster.
He however charged the Executive Vice President of Samsung to ensure compliance to the Cabotage law and other enabling Nigerian laws when the FPSO gets to Nigeria adding that the Nigerian government is working hard to provide conducive business environment .
In his response Mr Younsang Won promised the visiting NIMASA boss that the project will be ready for movement to Nigeria in August and assured that the quality of the project will bear the mark of excellence associated with Samsung Heavy industries. He promised to comply with local laws in Nigeria and do all within his powers to work with locals to build capacity in offshore projects industry.
It be noted that the FPSO is being developed for deployment in the Egina oil field, located 150km off the coast of Nigeria. The field is currently under development and production is scheduled to begin in 2018. The Egina Field when completed is expected to add 200,000 barrels per day to the National oil production by 2018.
It should also be noted that as part of the current reforms going on in the Nigerian Maritime sector, NIMASA would be taking delivery of the 5th largest floating dock which is expected to ensure vessels in need of dry dock need not go out of the country.