By Adewale Sanyaolu
Oando Plc, has inaugurated its mid- stream Jetty in Apapa, Lagos bringing an end to the infrastructural constraints often associated with the discharge of petroleum products, especially within the Apapa corridor.
The new jetty according to industry estimate will save the country over $120 million in demurrage annually and ease the plight of oil marketers’.
The jetty recently berthed its first cargo following statutory checks; the MT FALCON NOSTROS, a 22,000MT cargo vessel with product discharge lasting for two days in line with design parameters, and validates the jetty project with regards to overall design, integrity of the jetty platform, pipelines, integrated systems and resulting operational efficiency.
Speaking at the maiden berth, the Chief Executive Officer of OVH Energy, Oando’s Downstream licensee, Mrs. Olaposi Williams said, “This maiden vessel is further proof that the Jetty’s entire integrated product discharge and receipt systems can support requisite operational rigours.
This remarkable milestone heralds the next phase of planned activities which include; completion of pipeline connection to various terminals in line with communicated connection plans, commercial contracting with MOMAN and other customers as well as an upgrade and development of Terminal 1 and the Marshalling Yard,”.
The jetty has been identified as an immensely valuable initiative developed by Oando as it will allow 45,000DWT vessels to berth and discharge their products without lightering and demurrage.
The subsea marina jetty will also contribute significantly to the company’s overall net profit as a result of tolling fees and substantial cost savings on imports and demurrage, while ensuring an increase in the utilization of existing storage space, and significant reduction in delays caused by infrastructure constraints in the Lagos area.
With 70 percent of Nigeria’s domestic petroleum products demands being met through petroleum importation and about 2.5 trillion spent on the importation of refined petroleum products in 2016, according to data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), making it the 7th largest petroleum importer in the world, the novel idea by Oando will provide a more efficient platform for product receipt to all marketers currently using the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) jetty.
The facility, according to Oando has a half-kilometer subsea pipeline, and a 16” 3km onshore line is capable of delivering over 3 million tonnes a year.
More Worrisome is the fact that the 127 jetties in Nigeria have proven insufficient to service the needs of the country, posing a major challenge for imported vessels trying to discharge at the port.
The fuel jetties at the Apapa Wharf, are equally incapable of accommodating large volumes of fuel imports, with maximum vessel size restricted to between 18,000Metric Tonnes and 20,000 Metric Tonnes. Hence, every 30,000MT vessel that berths at the Apapa jetty must be lightered into a daughter vessel at an extra cost to the marketers of approximately $245,000 per lightering operation.
Besides, every vessel that berths at the Apapa jetty has a waiting time of between 14 to 21 days, incurring a demurrage of between $280,000 to $420,000 per operation, a reason why major fuel importers now have a preference for discharging their products outside Nigerian waters, specifically at the ports in Cotonou, Benin, Niger Republic and Lome, Togo.