The President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government of Nigeria has pledged its support for the revival of the $1 billion Kaztec Engineering Limited oil and gas fabrication yard at Snake Island, Ilashe, Lagos State in an effort to encourage more Nigerian businesses to invest in the country’s oil and gas industry and blue economy and subsequently contribute to the nation’s economic growth.
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, offered the assurance on Sunday in Lagos during his inspection and on-the-spot assessment of the fabrication yard, which has been shut down for the past eight years due to force majeure declared on it by Addax Petroleum, the project’s technical partner.
Africa Today News, New York reports that the minister’s visit to the project site came barely 24 hours after the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) led by its Chairman, Senator Eteng Williams, paid similar visit to the location as part of the upper legislative chamber’s commitment to investigating the reasons behind the project’s shutdown, to seek solutions for reviving the facility to revitalise the Nigerian economy.
The fabrication yard which is also known as the Antan Project, estimated to cost about $1billion to complete, began sometime in 2012 and was planned to support the drilling of over 19 million barrels of Nigerian crude.
The project which had already gulped over $600 million and attained 70 per cent completion was expected to be a one-stop-shop for the fabrication of offshore platforms, large offshore modules, Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) refurbishment, and new build jackets.
It was also intended to provide facilities like pipe mill, pipe coating, dry and floating dock, logistics, supply base, and skills development and satisfaction of all the project delivery needs of oil and gas companies doing business in Nigeria and provide jobs for Nigerians.
However, for eight years, activities at the project site had ceased owing to a force majeure declared on it in 2015 by Addax Petroleum, the project technical partner, arising from taxes and audit issues between the federal government and Addax Petroleum.
The facility was projected to generate over $33 billion values in revenues and foreign exchange savings for the federal government over 10 years, in addition to over 3,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect job opportunities for Nigerians.
Speaking after touring the facility and getting the necessary briefings from Kaztec officials, the minister, who was taken round the project site by the Chairman of Kaztec Engineering, Chief Emeka Offor, the company’s Technical Director, Mr. Mike Simpson, amongst others, assured the wholly-Nigerian firm that he would support it to resuscitate the yard.