The management of Lekki Deep Seaport yesterday disclosed that the port would be able to berth ships carrying about 18,000 TEUs when it becomes operational.
One TEU is twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity often used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals.
The management also said it had achieved 50 per cent completion of the breakwater, which is one of the largest and critical part of the port project.
The Technical Director, Lekki Port, Steven Heukelom, who made this disclosure during a media tour of the facility at the Ibeju-Lekki axis of Lagos said when completed, the port would have a water depth of 16.5 metres and 19 metres and three berths to take care of wet, bulk and container cargos.
He explained: “It will have enough room to accommodate container ships of up to 18,000 TEUs. Phase one capacity will be about 1.2 million TEU per year, rising to 2.5 million TEU in Phase two.
“The extra space is expected to take pressure off of Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, which are presently challenged by congestion and access road traffic”, Heukelom added.
He projected that the new port facility and the adjacent Lagos Free Trade Zone would have a major impact on the Nigerian economy, including drawing over 50 percent of its work force from neighbouring communities.
According to him, the channel would be dredged to 16.5 meters depth, which would be deepened to 19 meters as traffic grows while the breakwater, which protects the vessels from the waves, is 1.9 kilometers long.
Similarly, he confirmed further that construction work on the breakwater had reached advance stage, having finished about one kilometre on the breakwater.
Heukelom also said that the project remained strategic for the economic growth of Lagos Free Trade Zone, as it would support the massive industrial and petrochemical complex being embarked at Ibeju.
He said that discussion of how to connect the port by rail between promoters of the port and Federal Government was ongoing, stressing that the connection would address the problem of traffic gridlock in the area.