What services does LADOL provide?
LADOL is a 100% privately owned, deep-offshore logistics base. We provide maritime, oil and gas, and general manufacturing support services through the creation of a small industrial village. We have invested $450 million in building an infrastructure that assists various industries in setting up business in Nigeria for the first time. The reason these industries can set up here so easily is because firstly, the environment we have created is built around a specialized port facility. And secondly, it provides 24/7 services and operations, which enable companies to operate with a level of efficiency similar to what they would expect in more advanced economies. We also have training facilities for Nigerian staff, and our aim is to fill the infrastructural and operational gaps that otherwise prevent foreign companies from operating within Nigeria's economy. By filling those gaps, we have attracted new investment. Through our Phase II development, for example, we are creating 50,000 new jobs, and we anticipate that over the next five years we will attract between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in FDI.
Could you elaborate on the purpose of LADOL's joint venture with Samsung?
It was our intention to develop to a point where we would attract a foreign company to be our technical partner in building a facility that would have a strategically significant impact on the Nigerian economy. The facility we are building with Samsung is an offshore fabrication and vessel-integration facility. It is essentially a shipbuilding facility, intended to build and repair a wide range of vessels. The first contract is to build a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel (or FPSO) for the Egina project. This is in fact a Total Upstream Nigeria project: the creation of a new, deep-water, offshore block. The facility we are building is not only the first of its kind in Nigeria; it is also the first and largest of its kind in Africa. It is also the first time that Samsung has partnered with a company to build a facility in Africa. And so it marks a significant moment for Nigerian local content. For the past 30 years, 90% of Nigerian oil and gas projects have been executed by outside the country. By passing the Local Content Act, however, the government showed that local content was paramount. This move enabled Nigeria's private sector to step in and help make local content a reality through their long-term investments, which is what we have done, to create the infrastructure required for greater domestication and to meet world-class expectations. We are looking to ensure that as much as possible of the maritime sector will be domesticated in Nigeria because we want the country to become the primary hub for oil and gas and the maritime industry within the West African region. The fact that Nigeria has this facility creates a huge multiplier effect and the partnership we have with Samsung is one of many we plan to strike up.
What goals have you set for LADOL for the coming five years?
Phase I, the logistics base, is now complete, at a cost of around $150 million. Phase II is an expansion and upgrade of the logistics facilities to include a new fabrication and integration yard, and this will create around 50,000 jobs. Phase III involves further expansion and the building of a dry dock, which will be the largest in West Africa, and which could lead to the creation of as many as 100,000 jobs. In addition to building up the facilities within LADOL, we also want to strengthen collaboration between facilities in Nigeria. Our aim is to build clusters of facilities: engineering, steel manufacturing, general fabrication, offshore fabrication, and human capital development, developing capability right across the country.