close x

LADOL logistics base set for expansion

LADOL logistics base set for expansion

Facing an uphill battle, the privately owned West African free zone and logistics hub Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) has been rapidly expanding over the past 15 years and has established itself as an important logistics base for international oil companies. It now has its long-term sights set on diversifying away from oil and gas.

Global Trade Review (GTR) speaks with LADOL managing director and CEO Amy Jadesimi about how the free zone is evolving into a platform for industrialisation across West Africa, and the challenges it faces.

GTR: What is LADOL and how did it develop?

Jadesimi: LADOL is an industrial free zone. It was built out of a disused swamp inside of Apapa Port, which is probably the busiest container terminal in West Africa. It’s basically an island: we get to it over the water. We chose that location because we knew we had to be completely independent to achieve our aim, which is to create opportunities for large industrial projects to happen in Nigeria for the first time.

The largest industry in Nigeria is oil and gas, so we started with focusing on that by building a specialised logistics base. We, as the base operator, provide all the facilities through which services are delivered to our clients, as opposed to what happens in other logistics bases in Nigeria, which are basically converted government facilities and tend to be very bloated with many people doing the same thing.

GTR: Can you outline the various phases of development, what has been achieved thus far, and what are your plans for the future?

Jadesimi: The founders of LADOL started investing in the concept in 2001. They started investing on the ground in 2004, so the investment on the ground has been going on for 13 years. Phase one included a logistics base, hotel and offices, all of which were completed in 2011.

As part of phase two, LADOL has built the largest shipyard and installed the heaviest crane capacity in the region. The shipyard is currently constructing and will do the final integration of a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for Total’s US$16bn Egina deepwater field. The vessel will be the largest to ever berth in West Africa, and the first FPSO to be fabricated and partially integrated in Nigeria, despite the fact that Nigeria has spent US$30bn or so building similar vessels in the past, without seeing much happen locally.

Also part of phase two is a 50MW gas-fired power plant, a new hotel and a liquid mud plant, which are currently being built and will be completed over the next 24 months.

For phase three, over the next decade we plan to develop the remaining infrastructure in the free zone to support non-oil and gas industrial activity. Our strategic focus is on supporting and attracting manufacturing and engineering businesses that have a multiplier effect on job creation and which use innovation to develop sustainable business models, disrupting current systems that perpetuate poverty. Phase three will also be distinctive in that the developers plan to significantly increase the level of sustainability in the design and layout of the free zone. In addition, we want to attract manufacturing and engineering companies with sustainable business plans and operations to set up in the zone to industrialise West Africa and be part of what will be one of the world’s largest growth markets.

GTR: Are there other, similar logistics bases in Nigeria?

Jadesimi: In Nigeria, no. Historically, our oil and gas has come from the Niger Delta, which is where the biggest logistics servicing facility is located. But this is a very different set up to LADOL. It is funded by the government. It is a very open design, whereby some of the facilities are in nearby towns, so you don’t have the streamlined, fully-integrated facility, where everything is done within one ecosystem.

The market LADOL is servicing is very different, which is why we set up a unique, fully-integrated facility. We are servicing the offshore and deep offshore market. Our target clients are people who are drilling in the middle of the ocean, sometimes 3,000 metres deep. This is a very expensive setup, costing US$20-30 a barrel, although we are trying to reduce that cost. And so, when you are servicing an operation like that, what we realised is that it’s better done from a location like Lagos where you can operate 24/7, you can quickly get in and out of the facility, and you need a custom-built logistics base that is very streamlined and efficient. Everything is set up by the base operator, which means we take all the capital expenditure risk and then people come and deliver their services through facilities that we have already built.

GTR: Given the global oil scenario, what fuels your confidence that LADOL’s built capacity will be utilised?

Jadesimi: The current oil price is driving a lot of business to LADOL. Oil majors have known for over a decade that for deep offshore blocks, Lagos is the optimal support location – LADOL is the embodiment of the ideal logistics base envisioned by Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil when they first tried to build a base in Lagos. By building the base ourselves, LADOL has also demonstrated the need for international oil companies to support legitimate private sector companies in the sector to cut costs and ensure long-term stability. Interest in Nigeria’s offshore oil and gas assets is still high because Nigerian companies like LADOL and the current government policies have made Nigeria highly competitive.

GTR: How is LADOL financed?

Jadesimi: Since we have been going, for over a decade, financing has been challenging to say the least. Initially LADOL was financed with equity from ourselves. The Bank of Industry, a Nigerian bank, was the first major equity investor. We expect to go to another financing ground next year. We have also received bank loans. The financing challenges are one of the reasons why it has taken some time to get the infrastructure built.

GTR: Have you sought or achieved any kind of international financing?

Jadesimi: That is what we are doing next year. We wanted to get a few things in place, and position ourselves. With a project like LADOL, the idea of giving money to a relatively small private company to incrementally build a sustainable industrial free zone is a new one, albeit one which the development institutions are just now getting their heads around. We are talking to them.

GTR: How receptive has the Nigerian government been to what you have achieved so far and to your plans for the future?

Jadesimi: It has been an uphill battle: explaining who we are and getting over the fact that by adding value and adding transparency, particularly with our logistics activities in the oil and gas sector, we are shining a light on a lot of improper things that were happening before. To be honest, the pushback we have had over the past decade is far more than we had anticipated.

However, I would say that this government has taken a very clear position and a very clear stand. The president issued a policy recently which confirmed the fact that the maritime sector and oil and gas logistics sector was a liberal sector and that everybody had a right to participate. It even made specific reference to LADOL, commending us for our investment and basically saying that under this new government, they wanted to encourage the creation of more LADOLs.

I would say it has been an uphill battle for lots of reasons. One of the most effective things we have been able to do is to educate the government and civil society and other private sector companies about the benefits that come from opening up the market to the private sector in this way. Where we are at now is a place where we will see a lot more private investment coming in over the next decade.

Click here to read the full interview on the GTR website.

  • Latest News

    • Delivering the SDGs: Aligning Business, Society and Governments

      Delivering the SDGs: Aligning Business, Society and Governments

      The MD of LADOL, Dr Amy Jadesimi, chaired a presidential panel in the Great Hall at the Commonwealth Business Summit. The session was focused on a subject the MD is extremely passionate about; delivering Sustainable Development Goals by aligning Business Society and Governments. How do we move from billions to …
    • MD of LADOL Speaks on BBC Radio – In The Balance

      MD of LADOL Speaks on BBC Radio – In The Balance

      The Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, recently spoke on the In the Balance BBC Radio program alongside the Maltese Minster for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses (Christian Cardinals), the Chairman of Interswitch Nigeria (Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE), Chairman and Managing Director of Aries Agro Limited, a leading …
    • Amy Jadesimi Attends Commonwealth Business Forum

      Amy Jadesimi Attends Commonwealth Business Forum

      Dr. Amy Jadesimi, MD of LADOL, has attended the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, UK along with other Nigerian and Commonwealth business leaders and industry experts. Dr. Amy chaired the session on How do we move from billions to trillions to help fund the SDGs? Speaking at the Blue Economy …
    • Young CEO of the Year, Dr. Amy Jadesimi

      Young CEO of the Year, Dr. Amy Jadesimi

      We are delighted to announce that our MD, DR Amy Jadesimi has been named Young CEO of the Year at the recent Africa CEO forum. On receiving the award Dr Amy said in her acceptance speech “Thank you for this great honour. As some of you may know, LADOL is …
    • LADOL MD, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Joins B Team Africa

      LADOL MD, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Joins B Team Africa

      MD LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi was selected to join the newly formed B Team Africa in January this year. The LADOL MD joined the CEO of Unilever Mr. Paul Polman at a press conference to announce the B Team Africa’s Agenda held at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Ivory …
    • LADOL Wins Best Local Content Operator of Year

      LADOL Wins Best Local Content Operator of Year

      LADOL is very proud and honoured to win the Best Local Content Operator of Year award at the Energie Platform Lecture series and The Oil and Gas Industry Award Dinner recently held at Eko Hotel in Lagos.
    • Dr Amy Jadesimi speaks at Shell Nigeria Women’s Network on IWD2018

      Dr Amy Jadesimi speaks at Shell Nigeria Women’s Network on IWD2018

      On International Women’s Day 2018, Dr Amy Jadesimi joined Shell Nigeria Women’s Network to share her professional experience and lessons learned. “Focus on your work, not on what people think about you. Don’t be affected by the negative comments, just keep pressing forward!”
    • Our biggest challenge was monopoly – but Buhari broke it.

      Our biggest challenge was monopoly – but Buhari broke it.

      Amy Jadesimi, managing director of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistic Base (LADOL) explains to TheCable why Nigeria is fast becoming the fabrication hub in Africa, why Nigeria is now more than ever an attractive investment destination, women’s role in leadership and the impact of increased local content to the Nigeria economy. …
    • Minister of Petroleum visits EGINA

      Minister of Petroleum visits EGINA

      We were very pleased to welcome Mr Jeff Ewing (MD Chevron Nigeria), Mr Ahmadu Kida Musa (Deputy MD Total E&P Nigeria Ltd), Mr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (Minister of State for Petroleum) and Mr Nicolas Terraz (Managing Director/Chief Executive of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd) to the Free Zone to mark the …
    • Channels TV: Local content funding interview

      Channels TV: Local content funding interview

      LADOL Managing Director Dr Amy Jadesimi on was recently interviewed on the Business Morning program of Channels TV to discussing local content and funding of the EGINA FPSO project. Watch the full video below.
    • GTR Africa: West Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference 2018

      GTR Africa: West Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference 2018

      Dr. Amy Jadesimi, MD LADOL, was recently a guest speaker at GTR Africa: West Africa Trade & Export Finance Conference 2018. (February 1 and 2 2018 Eko Hotel, Lagos) She spoke on the Topic: Expanding Operations in a Challenging Market Environment. Dr. Amy provided an update on the progress made …
    • French Delegation visit LADOL

      French Delegation visit LADOL

      We were very pleased to welcome Ahmadu Kida-Musa, Jean-Michel Guy and Nicolas Terraz from TOTAL Nigeria as well as Consul General Laurent Polonceaux and Ambassadeur Denys Gauer to the Free Zone to mark the EGINA’s arrival Picture from Left to Right 1. Mr Ahmadu-Kida MUSA (Deputy Managing Director Deep Water …
    • Egina FPSO arrives at LADOL

      Egina FPSO arrives at LADOL

      Total’s massive Egina FPSO vessel arrived at LADOL yesterday. The biggest ship in West Africa, and one of the world’s biggest, it’s 330m long and 34m high. Designed to hold 2.3m barrels of oil. It’ll be moved to an ultra-deep field about 130km off the coast at some stage. The …
    • MD LADOL launches BSDC “Better Business Better World MENA” report in Cairo.

      MD LADOL launches BSDC “Better Business Better World MENA” report in Cairo.

      LADOL MD, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, today attended the launch of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission (BSDC) report “Better Business Better World – Sustainable Business Opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa”; Dr Amy is a founding member of the Commission. “Sustainable Businesses are the single most lucrative opportunities …
    • World Bank Growth Report – Nigeria’s growing economy

      World Bank Growth Report – Nigeria’s growing economy

      Statistics don’t put food on the table. The World Bank named Nigeria as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but here’s how it can grow faster. This month the World Bank announced that Nigeria was among the fastest-improving countries to undertake business globally. After years in the economic wilderness, negotiating …
    • LADOL wins Africa Infrastructure Award

      LADOL wins Africa Infrastructure Award

      LADOL recently took part in the Seatrade Maritime Awards 2017 and was the winner of the Africa Infrastructure Award. These are the awards that everyone in the region wants to win and this was an extremely competitive category. Collected on behalf of Lagos Deep offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) by Mrs …
    • LADOL Sponsors FT Africa Summit 2017

      LADOL Sponsors FT Africa Summit 2017

      LADOL was a primary sponsor of the recent FT Africa Summit 2017 – what makes Africa work. Too often we focus on Africa’s problems, whether of governance, commodity dependency, poor infrastructure or entrenched poverty. Without taking a rose-tinted view, this year’s FT Africa Summit aimed to shift the focus to …
    • LADOL MD Attends Sustainable Development Impact Summit

      LADOL MD Attends Sustainable Development Impact Summit

      LADOL MD, Dr Amy Jadesimi, has recently attended the Sustainable Development Impact Summit at the World Economic Forum in New York. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recognizes that delivering on the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris climate agreement will require accelerating public-private cooperation and …
    • Nigeria – Separating Fact From Fiction, Forbes

      Nigeria – Separating Fact From Fiction, Forbes

      LADOL CEO, Amy Jadesimi has written an article for Forbes magazine entitled “Nigeria — Separating Fact From Fiction To Restore A Nation’s Tarnished Image” to try and dispel the inaccurate image of Nigeria portrayed in the world’s media. The Full text of the article can be read below. Running a …
    • USTDA hails LADOL as haven for investment

      USTDA hails LADOL as haven for investment

      The United State Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has commended the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL) as a safe haven for investment and having great capacity for job creation in the African sub-region. This is coming just as the Federal government as well as Lagos and Oyo states governments …