By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State is set to get an energy city CrossRiverWatch can authoritatively report.
The energy city which will be sited at the old jetty close to the United Cement, UNICEM old plant along tank farm road in Calabar.
According to the investors, it will comprise of a 600meters key off jetty, an open petroleum storage facility, helipad to transport workers to the Gulf of Guinea, accommodation and a medical clinic.
Cross River governor Benedict Ayade while inspecting the site appeared skeptical in his initial remarks as the facilities and proposed operations he said could hardly pass for an energy city.
However, upon findings that certain preliminary work had been concluded, he expressed optimism it could retain the name energy city and proposed some additional features.
“If the front energy line has been done, feasibility done, the EIA (environmental impact assessment) done, with all those approved then we might have to stick with this but we really don’t need 76 oil wells to be able to operate because what you are providing is for logistics purposes, providing a safe haven for oil and gas activities”
Ayade said upon learning it was put on hold due to the state’s loss of oil wells to neighbouring Akwa Ibom state. Ayade added that “For us to have an enhanced value, probably you could have a fabrication system added here. With the fabrication facility to do such tanks you can actually even fabricate boats and you can actually provide logistical support from the point of origin.
“That means you can actually provide support services that can make you a one stop shop for all logistics support services in the area of gas services but far more important for me is for us to provide sufficient storage facilities for the petroleum products especially jet oil which is really in short supply”.
On marketing strategy and financing, the governor maintained “We are going to focus on the northern part of Nigeria and basically because you have energy stored there, it can pass for an energy city” before disclosing that Van Oord Nigeria limited was ready to deploy dredging facilities.
Commenting on the proposed facility, the commercial manager of Van Oord Nigeria limited, Hans Bijan said he will meet with his colleagues and his government to arrange financing and hinted on some of the construction work, “we have more than enough sand to reclaim the land to bring it up to two and a half meters for low levels and even high water levels as it will still be okay as you will have a solid platform on which to construct.”
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