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Boost for Nigerian content agenda as stakeholders collaborate to build vessels

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Simbi Kesiye Wabote. PHOTO: SweetCrudeRepors

As more stakeholders in the country’s oil/gas and maritime space continue to leverage critical partnerships to develop vessels, the country’s local content programme championed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) appears to be gathering momentum.

Collaborations have been identified as particularly effective way to lower costs and simplify contractor management.

Combining equipment, software and engineering, or other combinations of service offerings can unlock significant value for customers and the economy, experts say.

The NCDMB recently commended the business model of NigerStar 7, which is a partnership between Nigerdock and Subsea7 that produced the NigerStar7 Adaba, which is a vessel that is expected to give a major boost to deep-water oil/gas projects in Nigeria.

A strategic collaboration has helped the group to build a formidable presence in engineering, fabrication, installation, and project management.

The Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, had charged other service providers to build bridges especially now that the industry was rebounding from a period of downturn.

“We see rays of light in the sanctioning of big-ticket projects. There is need to collaborate more and build partnerships that last. The opportunities in the industry are quite vast and there is room for a win-win situation for all,” he said.

According to him, the Board has always adopted the partnership mantra, hence it has parallel collaborations with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)- National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Bank of Industry (BoI), and several other agencies and institutions

The vessel valued at $10 million, will be flying the Nigerian National Flag, rated as DP2 and is equipped with Kongsberg DP system, and is also equipped with Fire Fighting System (FIFI) Class 1 and is capable of fighting offshore facility and ports fire incidents.

The NCDMB boss stressed the need for industry players to partner and cooperate among themselves to develop local content in the oil and gas industry and grow investors’ confidence in the economy.

“These collaborations are already yielding results such as the alignment with NIMASA on the classification of vessels operating or seeking to operate in Nigerian waters as well as training of seafarers. NNPC-NAPIMS is also preparing the five-year projection of vessel requirements to guide stakeholders on focus areas and investment opportunities,” Wabote said.

According to the NCDMB, several of such collaborations amongst the Nigerian oil and gas service providers would create employment opportunities for young jobless graduates and grow businesses in the country.

Stakeholders in the oil/gas and maritime sectors have emphasised that there are many untapped opportunities in the nation’s oil and gas industry, highlighting that the schedule in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act 2010 presented immense opportunities for players like NigerStar7 to key into.

The Schedule in the Act for marine operations and logistics services provides for 75 percent Nigerian content in marine installation services and 100 percent Nigerian content provision for crane barges and heavy lift vessels.

The Chief Executive Officer of NigerStar7, Yann Cottart, described the vessel as: “An anchor handling tug and supply vessel that is wholly-owned and flagged as a Nigerian ocean-going vessel entirely manned by a Nigerian crew of 14 persons.”

This tripartite quality, he explained: ”Makes it a first in the Nigerian offshore service industry”.

Cottart claims that the vessel is: “The most powerful anchor handling tug operating in Nigeria presently with a bollard pull of 140 tons.

It can tow rigs and large-capacity supply vessels, retrieving and deploying anchor in deep offshore environment.”

The tugboat is permanently imported and equity-financed through international lending of $10 million  in direct investment into the country. Ancillary services are expected to add further $10 million in the next five years.

“It’s not uncommon for vessels this kind to run a 25-year lifespan and still be useful,” the Group CEO of the Jagal Group, Maher Jarmakani, said.

With two jobs at hand, first-off the Erha Field onwards to Qua Iboe Terminal, both ExxonMobil facilities, the NigerStar7 ADABA has started off her Nigerian service life running, and according to the operators, port/yard dockings during off-peak periods will largely be determined by economical factors of costs and benefit.

According to the NCDMB, the outright acquisition and deployment of the vessel by Nigerstar 7 in Nigeria, showed the growing confidence of investors in Nigerian economy.

The company is also looking to invest over $20 million (N7.2billion) to acquire oil floating facilities, vessel and oil servicing equipment that would create job opportunities for offshore and onshore workforce and oil servicing companies.

“We are executing the largest and complex equipment, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of Deepwater projects and with this new addition of vessel, we have become the only Nigerian Tier 1 EPC contractor with 100 per cent owned and positioned in-country,” NigerStar7 said.


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