The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is in talks with DP World over a concession to operate Tin Can Island bulk terminal. It has been reported in Nigeria that investment of about US$1B is being discussed, although it is not clear whether this refers to the bulk terminal alone, or also includes the greenfield container terminal in Lagos State that DP World is interested in developing.
DP World Group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has already expressed his interest in expanding the range of his company’s African operations. He held talks with Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode last October, suggesting that the two projects have been under consideration for some time.
Tin Can Island is one of the three interconnected Lagos ports. At present, it has 11 berths, including one dry bulk, seven breakbulk and one ro-ro, and is connected by a bridge to Apapa Container Terminal, which is operated by APM Terminals. It is understood that DP World will be required to greatly increase Tin Can Island’s dry bulk handling capacity, although the NPA has not revealed which commodities are expected to be handled.
One of the Emirati firm’s biggest tasks will be providing access to the port for much bigger vessels, as the existing berths have a maximum depth of just 9.5m, with 8.5m in the approach channel. The port also needs to be connected to the railway, which currently only reaches as far as Apapa.