French development agency to finance development of Lagos’ waterways

The French development agency, AFD, has declared it would support the Lagos State Government and its waterways authority, LASWA, to develop a mass public inland waterways transportation system in Africa’s largest megacity.

Known as the Waterways Investment and Development of the Environment project in Lagos State (WIDE-LAG), the €200m scheme targets the moving of over 50m passengers every year through Lagos’ waterways by 2028.

The project’s scope involves the development of five to eight priority ferry routes including ferry terminals, first mile/last mile land connections, jetties, pontoons, shipyard for vessel maintenance and dredging of critical areas. It will also include the acquisition of clean-powered vessels, Information Transport Systems (ITS), capacity-building and institutional strengthening of LASWA.

“This ambitious program will put Lagos State at the forefront of mobility innovation in Africa, setting the path for other western African countries sharing the same geographical configuration,” said Antoine Le Bihan, the AFD Representative in Lagos.

The project’s preparatory studies were officially launched last week in Lagos, under a €1.2m grant provided by the AFD.

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Eni to start exploratory drilling offshore Congo

Borr Drilling’s Prospector 5 jackup drilling rig has reached the Central African coast where it is expected to start drilling soon for Eni Congo. In August 2022, Borr Drilling had announced the signing of a letter of intent worth $68.9m for Prospector 5 to execute a 6-well firm program expected to start in Q4 2022 with a duration of 14 months plus options. Hawilti got confirmation from Eni officials that the rig is indeed mobilized by the major offshore Congo. The campaign is expected to start with the drilling of two exploratory wells on Marine VI bis, a block operated by Eni in partnership with Congo’s national oil company, SNPC. The block holds several prospects that have been matured over the past few years, including Mbenga, Poalvou Deep, and Ikalou SW. While Eni is yet to reveal which prospect(s) will be targeted, the Prospector 5 is currently heading towards Poalvou, data from Marine Traffic shows. This will be the second rig mobilized by Eni offshore Congo, data from Hawilti’s Offshore Rigs Tracker shows. The Borr Natt rig has already been contracted by the Italian major since January 2022, under a contract set to end in January 2023, unless options are exercised. Once exploratory drilling is completed on Marine VI bis, the Prospector 5 will support development drilling on Marine XII, where Eni is developing gas reserves to start exporting LNG next year. The Prospector 5 rig will drill five development wells on Marine XII, according to SNPC. Market activity has steadily picked up in Congo over the past year, with drilling mostly focused on shallow water blocks. In its Q1 2022 Exploration Watch, Hawilti notably reported the drilling of the Lidongo Marine-1 well on Marine XI by Mercuria. According to company sources, the well successfully tested one zone and flowed oil. While the resumption of drilling is good news for Congo, a country that produces some 270,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), more could be on the table. Last year, TotalEnergies announced it was planning to drill the Niamou prospect on Marine XX, a deep-water block it secured in February 2020. Along with its partner Woodside Energy, the French major believes that Niamou is a large attractive deep offshore prospect which could help maintain Congo’s output in the medium term. (article updated on 7 November 2022 to reflect details of the drilling campaign provided by SNPC.) More information on projects activity in the Republic of Congo is available on your Hawilti+ research terminal –

Nigeria: Daewoo E&C intends to “fix” both Kaduna and Warri refineries

While in South Korea last week, President Muhammadu Buhari witnessed the signing of a letter of intent (LoI) between NNPC Ltd and Daewoo E&C for the revised strategy to fix the state-owned Kaduna Refinery in northern Nigeria. According to officials, Daewoo E&C intends to complete the Kaduna refinery rehabilitation project by signing the official contract with the NNPC by the first quarter of 2023. The Kaduna refining complex was developed in two major phases: the construction of the 110,000 bpd refinery in 1983, followed by a 30,000 tpy petrochemical unit in 1988. Various factors have severely impacted the operational efficiency of the refinery. Over the past 10 years, capacity utilization at the Kaduna Refinery has averaged only 13.87%. Future rehabilitation works the refinery site and on associated pipelines and depots are expected to bring back capacity utilization to 90% in the near future. Daewoo E&C was already selected last June for the “quick fix” project at the state-owned Warri Refinery, under a contract worth $492.3m. Both refineries were initially scheduled for full rehabilitation under a $1.484bn contract with Italian contractor Saipem, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in August 2021. However, the deal fell through and led to the restructuring of both initiatives as cheaper, “quick fix” projects executed by Daewoo E&C. Meanwhile, Italian contractor Tecnimont is busy rehabilitating the state-owned Port Harcourt Refinery under a full-fledged, $1.5bn rehabilitation scheme that started in April 2021 and will last 40 months. In early June 2022, the Italian EPC contractor reached 1 million safe manhours without LTI at the site. Details on the rehabilitation of Nigerian refineries are available in your Hawilti+ research terminal.