APM Terminals plans to build a massive port and free trade zone in Nigeria to keep pace with rapid growth in container traffic in Africa’s most populous nation.
The deep-water port at Badagry, 34 miles west of the commercial capital of Lagos, is scheduled to open in 2016.
The port, with initial container capacity of 1 million 20-foot-equivalent container units, also will include facilities for bulk, liquid bulk, roll-on, roll-off and general cargo, as well as a barge terminal and oil and gas operations.
When completed, the port will be one of the largest in Africa, with 4.4 miles of quay and 2,470 acres of dedicated yard. The free trade zone will include a power plant, an oil refinery, an industrial park, warehousing and an inland container depot.
“We are actively working with state and federal governments on the permission process,” said Peder Sondegaard, Africa-Middle East regional CEO.
APMT, a unit of Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, is promoting the project in a consortium that includes Terminal Investments, a port operator with links to Mediterranean Shipping Co., Australian infrastructure bank Macquarie and three local companies.
APMT has container terminals in eight West African nations, including two in Nigeria: Lagos Apapa Container Terminal, which handled 600,000 TEUs in 2011, and West Africa Container Terminal in Onne.
Nigerian container volume, which totaled 1.4 million TEUs in 2011, will outstrip existing port capacity by 2017, according to industry analysts.