Ibom Deep Seaport Project (IDSP), the multi-billion project initiated by the Akwa Ibom State government now has a preferred bidder. It is Bolloré Africa Logistics – PowerChina International Group Limited Consortium (the Bolloré- PowerChina Consortium).
The selection of the preferred bidder for IDSP followed what its initiator called “rigorous evaluation process” carried out by the Evaluation Committee.
The committee was convened by the IDSP Ministerial Project Development and Steering Committee (MPDSC) on competingbids received in response to the IDSP Request for Proposal (RFP). It is on record that China Harbour Engineering Company Limited had earlier emerged as the reserved bidder for the project expected to generate direct and indirect employment opportunities at the various stages of its construction.
The selection of the preferred bidder is coming on the heels of the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi’s approval for the IDSP project to proceed to the next stage of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) procurement process. This entails negotiation with the preferred bidder with the view to work out the investment and concession details.
The Chairperson, TC-IDSP, Mrs. Mfon Ekong Usoro confirmed the selection of the preferred bidder in a statement made available to Maritime Bits just as she gave an insight into the IDSP PPP Procurement Process.
Described as a landmark Public Private Partnership (PPP) port infrastructure project to spearhead Nigeria’s economic reform and transformation programme, the IDSP PPP procurement was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in May2015 and followed the ICRC procurement rules. The Request for Quotation (RFQ) was issued in January 2018.
Quoting the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem who spoke on behalf of Governor Udom Emmanuel, the statement said: “On behalf of the Akwa Ibom State Government (AKSG), I thank the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for giving full and unstinting support to the AKSG throughout the IDSP PPP procurement process, including the recently concluded RFP bids opening and evaluation milestones which saw to the selection of the Preferred and Reserved Bidders”.
“The AKSG is unwavering in its determination and will work in tandem with the FMOT and NPA to realize the IDSP. Upon its completion, the IDSP is poised to bring smart, world class port handling capacity to the doorsteps of Akwa Ibom State and to serve the cargo handling demand of the West and Central African countries, States in the South South as well as South East regions of Nigeria. We are confident that the IDSP will be pivotal to the economic development of the State and the surrounding regions,” he said.
Also speaking on the project, the Acting Director General, ICRC, Engr. Chidi Izuwah said: “the IDSP is one of the PPP projects that we are very proud of. The seaport will form part of an integrated industrial city to help foster economic development of the country as transportation is key to national development. The seaport is near the South South and South East regions and will drive the economic transformation and empowerment of Nigerians with a multiplier effect that will create massive employment for the country’s teeming population. Its circle of economic influence is expected to extend radially to the North Central, North Eastern and North Western zones”.
He noted that the next steps for the project will be a due diligence on the preferred proponent and extensive negotiations after which a Full Business Case (FBC) will be submitted by the FMOT to ICRC for the issuance of an FBC compliance certificate. The FBC compliance certificate will be presented for approval of FEC thereafter.
The IDSP is strategically located in the South East of Akwa Ibom State, one of the leading oil and gas producing states in the country. The 2,565 hectares Greenfield port area integrated within the Ibom Industrial City (IIC) – a Free Trade Zone repletewith fiscal incentives, is designed to berth New Panamax Class vessels with channel depth (18.24m); turning basin and berth depth (16.72m); and quay length of about 7.5 km upon completion. Full operation in the project is expected to start in 2021.