Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) says it will commence the first phase of $2.9 billion Escravos deep seaport in Delta state between 2024 and 2025.
The company said that the project would be on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model for a period of 50 years with funding coming from overseas.
The Escravos seaport project, which would be on 30,000 hectares of land in South West of Warri will decongest the Lagos ports and bring in more people into maritime industry.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday on the sideline of the 2022 World Hydrography Day celebration in Lagos, the Chairman of MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja, said that the Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC-1) project comprises industrial layouts, an independent power plant, a nature conservation park, an international airport and the development of prime infrastructure, new towns and cities.
He said the value of the deep seaport is determined by cargo flow, and it has taken care of several connectivity such as marine, rail and road connectivity, adding that because of the size of the project, it is going to capture about 70 per cent of geographical space of the country.
“I will give you an instance, the marine connectivity goes from Escravos port into the River Niger up to Onitsha and from Onitsha, the second phase will go up to Lokoja. The first phase of the project is about 350 kilometers from the port to Onitsha. From Onitsha to Lokoja is about 200 kilometers.
“Now we have signed an MoU with Swiss Canal Authority of Egypt, they are the operator and they are going to open it up. Very soon they are going to get their first visit to this port. The connectivity of the port is going to be concessioned, which is being processed with the Ministry of Transport. It will be concessioned between 50 and 75 years.
“When we do it, we will recover our money by tolling and the second connectivity is the rail, which will connect the port to Warri, Itape and up to Ajaokuta.
But the segment, which have taken is about 47 kilometers is from Escravos port to Warri is also concession and is goin to about electric train. That will be the first electric train in Nigeria,” he explained.
He said the the third phase of the project is a direct through from Escravos seaport to join Warri-Sapele road around Koko junction, which will be concession for about 50 years.
He said the project have flowing of cargo going in and out of the seaport, saying that the project would attracts $50 billion.
He said that the port will generate 2000 mega watt of power for its use and beyond, adding that MMC has gotten approval from the Federal Government to build the seaport.