Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited today in Lagos signed a US$629 million facility agreement with China Development Bank to part-fund the development and completion of the Lekki Deep Sea Port project being constructed in Lagos by project sponsors, Tolaram Group of Singapore and Chinese giant, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

On completion, the Lekki Deep Sea Port will be the largest port in Nigeria with the capacity to support a throughput of 2.7 million 20-foot equivalent units of cargo containers annually. The port will have two 680-metre long container berths of 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to be berthed by fifth-generation container ships and is expected to serve as a hub for port operations for West Africa.

The project is being developed on the back of a 45-year concession granted to the project sponsors by the Nigerian government. The project company, LPEL is jointly owned by Tolaram and CHEC, with minority equity stakes also held by the government of Lagos State (where the port is sited) and the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu stated that “This is a new beginning for us in Lagos. We have achieved another milestone in our efforts to transform the state and accomplish the 21st-century economic ambition. As a government, we are fully in support of the project. We will do all we can to ensure that the terms of the agreements signed today are delivered within 30 months as agreed, and we expect that the outcome would catalyse Lagos as the fifth largest economy and take it up more in the index among the largest economies in years to come.”

Templars Managing Partner, Oghogho Akpata said “I am extremely proud of the role Templars has played in bringing forth first-to-market transactions such as this one, and before that, the Eko Atlantic City project, the Azura IPP project, the Energy Link Alternative Crude Oil Evacuation Pipeline System project and the merger of Diamond Bank plc and Access Bank plc which created the largest retail bank in Africa.’’

Commenting further on the Lekki Port financing, Chike Obianwu, Partner and Head of the Finance Practice Group at Templars added that “This is another major addition to our firm’s excellent track record in the infrastructure development and financing space …. We salute the project sponsors for their tenacity and passionate commitment in pushing this project to this extremely important milestone after many years of striving in what is clearly a difficult terrain. And we are pleased to have been instrumental in assisting them in building the foundation for a port that is set to be a regional market leader in the very near future.”

The Templars team advising on the transaction is led by Chike Obianwu and Finance Partner Zelda Akindele, with strong support from Senior Associate, Modupe Dabiri. Other members of the team include Associates, Ojonugwa Ichaba, Promise Madubuobu, Yetunde Amodu, Benita Ogbodo and Ebuka Ogbodo.