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MMCC’s Escravos $27 bn Deep Seaport project gets Delta State Government revalidation, expects FG’s confirmation

The over $27 billion USD Escravos Deep Seaport Project being undertaken by Mercury Maritime Concession Company(MMCC) has received a revalidation by the Delta State Government as the company still expects the Federal Government’s confirmation.

The Chairman of MMCC, Rear Adm. Andrew Okoja (rtd), who disclosed this to newsmen at a briefing on Wednesday in Lagos, said that the Delta State Government’s approval of the Escravos Industrial Complex (ESIC) project backs the confidence of the land required for establishment.

“We have got a revalidation from the Delta State Government concerning the Maritime Industrial Hub project.

“What we needed from Delta State government is the land to host the project and there we got 31,000 hectares, which the Delta State Government has pledged. With that, we can now get a C of O to finish up with everything we need to do.

“For the Federal Government, we are in touch with the supervising ministry of this project, which is the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. Two days ago they told us they were going to meet the target. So, we are expecting it any moment from now, so we can meet the June deadline given by the project financier,” the MMCC Chairman said.

Giving an outlook of the socio-economic impact of the project when it comes on stream, Okoja said the Ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, Marine and Blue Economy, and that of Power among others, would create massive jobs with inland ports in states including Delta, Bayelsa, Edo, Imo, Kogi as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that as a Public Private Partnership model project, consideration of an equity share would be given to the states to encourage them  to create a friendly work environment and  ensure that locals benefit directly from the project as investments would create jobs.

“Regarding the connectivity, everything is treated as a holistic project; the main port itself, including the inland ports. We will be giving the states about 0.2 per cent equity, to encourage them. What we have is a PPP project and it is regulated by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“This project will open up Delta State and seven other as well as the FCT Abuja to international investors.

“The project also involves building seven inland dry ports in Bayelsa, Imo, Delta, Edo, Kogi and Abuja, and that all the deliverables would be achieved within five years of commencing construction,” Okoja said.

Speaking on the project components and spread across states, Mr. Ausbet Udebu, the Project Director of MMCC, said the project involves a deep seaport, inland ports that would be built in Bayelsa (Nun River), Imo (Oguta Lake), Delta (Okegbele), Edo (Inyele), Delta (Ebu), Kogi (Idah) and FCT Abuja.

Udebu said the project involves building an intermodal transport system for cargo evacuation, including 45 km of coastal roads, 150 km rail line to connect existing Warri-Ajaokuta-Itakpe railway and 600 km marine highway.

The project would have an independent power infrastructure that involved 2,000 megawatts of Independent Power Project (IPP), two 500 megawatts of IPP in two inland ports and five 250 megawatts of IPP in five inland ports.

Other components of the project, according to Udebu, include a Free Trade Zone (with three major layouts) an industrial park and a Central Business District. There would be a crude oil refinery and gas complex free trade zone. There would be a nature conservation park and a golf course as well as a ship repair yard and a dockyard.

The project, which is located in Escravos (Gbaramatu Island/Omadino) Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, will be financed by EDIB International, Hong Kong, the MMCC chairman had made known.

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