Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has commended the promoters of the Lekki Deep Seaport and its eco-friendly measures, which he said aligns with global efforts to reduce carbon intensity in international shipping.

The Minister made the commendation while receiving CMA CGM Scandola, which visited the Port on Monday.

It was gathered that the 15,000 TEU LNG-powered CMA CGM Scandola is the largest container ship to visit any West African country.

Oyetola, who was represented by the Managing Director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, pointed out that Nigeria aligns with a reduction in the use of heavy hydrocarbons and increasing the use of LNG in maritime transport in line with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Green House Gas (GHG) Strategy 2023 to reduce carbon intensity in international shipping by at least 40% by the year 2030.

The minister noted the pivotal role of shipping in global decarbonisation efforts as provided by the IMO’s strategy for a 40 percent reduction in carbon intensity by 2030.

He said the Lekki deep sea port capacity of 1.2 million TEUs, positions it to serve as a mega transhipment hub, not only to Nigeria but also to neighbouring countries in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond.

He stated: “The Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is convinced that shipping has a pivotal role to play in global decarbonisation efforts, this is why I would like to seize this moment to commend the management of Nigerian Ports Authority’s compliance with the ministerial directive to take cognisance of global energy transition in its port modernisation project by deliberately factoring in measures that promote energy efficiency,” he said.

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (middle) and other dignitaries while receiving CMA CGM Scandola at the Lekki Deep Seaport, Lagos. PHOTO: ABISOGUN MOBOLAJI AKINBOLANLE

“Apart from its distinctive feature of eco-friendliness, Scandola ranks amongst the largest container ships to call in West Africa with 15,000 TEUs. Lekki Deep Seaport’s natural depth of 16 meters added to its multifaceted efficiencies, state-of-the-art equipment, and robust infrastructure which offers a capacity of up to 1.2 million TEUs in this phase 1 position the Port to serve as a mega transhipment hub, to Nigeria’s neighbouring countries in the Gulf of Guinea and beyond. With shipping volumes promising to get higher, forward-looking investments such as the one we are gathered here to celebrate will certainly have a big impact in the long run.

“The imperative of making our ports eco-friendly is no fluke. We will continue to support the NPA in its efforts to ensure stakeholders’ compliance with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) sulphur regulation on Nigerian waterways.

“The driver of this change is the need to minimise the air pollution created in the shipping industry by reducing the sulphur content of the fuels that ships use. So transition to the use of natural gas, which is more environmentally friendly, by vessels plying our waterways is a most welcome development.”

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