Nigeria’s first off-shore petroleum products terminal would be commissioned this weekend by President Mohammadu Buhari.
Located in the Lekki Free Zone, the terminal, owned by Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited, is an ultra-modern purpose-built products intake, storage and off-take facility conceptualised to revolutionise the Nigerian downstream oil and gas industry by enabling the direct delivery of petroleum products from large vessels which would otherwise have been unable to berth anywhere on the Nigerian coastline.
The project concept was set to improve the efficiency of the Nigerian downstream industry by eliminating the need for expensive vessel lightering, reducing the incidence of demurrage for visiting mother vessels, reducing the typical out turn losses which typically occur during lightering operations, among other strategic objectives.
Speaking to journalists on the project, the Managing Director of Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Mr Peter Mba, explained the rationale for the project saying, “We noticed that the conventional operations of moving petroleum products from ships to tank farms were sub-optimal involving a lot of multiple handling.
“The procedures have been very inefficient, bringing in cargoes in large tankers, keeping that large tanker in the middle of the sea and then going with shuttle vessels to lighter (tranship) from the large tanker because we couldn’t take the large tanker to the port due to shallow draft restriction.
“To empty the mother vessel, it will require you to do a minimum of 32 days of such shuttling. So we then designed and created a liquid bulk terminal in an open sea, and with the new infrastructure the operation now takes just two days, because you just connect the mother vessel to our terminals directly.
“So it reduces the demurrage cost the industry was incurring on the mother vessel and the cost of hiring the shuttle vessel.”