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CNS Marine acquires $50m vessels for offshore operations

By The Citizen
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In building local content development, an indigenous company, CNS Marine Nigeria Limited said that it has acquired three vessels worth over $50 million (N6 billion) for offshore services in Nigeria.

Speaking at the weekend during the official commissioning of the new vessels, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of CNS Marine Limited, Mr Barry Adedamola disclosed that the company have acquired three vessels to facilitate offshore projects.

The three vessels are named Adessa Ocean King, Adessa Legend and Adessa Sea Protector.

Adedamola said that the newly offshore dive vessel with intensive capacity of 50 tonnes in any given time can accommodate about 90 workers on offshore projects.

According to him, “Today we are launching a unique product into the Nigeria market which has tremendous benefit to the socio-economic growth of the Nigeria in creating lots of jobs, while hoping that more local people will be trained to work in the vessels.

'We have invested over $50 million into these vessels. We are fully committed to a hundred per cent Nigerian Content', he said.

The CNS Marine boss however assured that adequate safety measures had been put in place to protect the crew, adding that additional security bullets proved boat had been acquired to support the operation of the vessels in offshore projects against militants.

He called on the Federal Government to support in enhancing the company's projects towards growth capacity building in the country.

In same vein, the  Country Director, CNS Marine, Lucky Akhiwu,  said that the company  has international partners, which renders technical support to the company.

He said that company has worked with several International Oil Companies such Kaztec Engineering for Addax Petroleum, Saipem, Exxon Mobil, Adam Offshore, Saibos and others.

He stated that CNS Marine Services include mixed gas hyperbaric diving services, air diving services, general construction, maintenance and repair; offshore pipe-lying services and support; underwater remote video surveys and inspections, savage and recovery; pipeline pigging and hydrostatic test; vessel agency and dive support services; offshore quality assurance programme advisory services.

Speaking about the funding at the commissioning of the new vessels, Diamond Bank, which is the sole financial for one of the vessels, provided $30 million (N4.8 billion) for the acquisition in a loan with five years repayment period.

The Corporate Banking Director, Diamond Bank Plc,  Samuel Egube, said that the bank's commitment to the Nigerian Content Policy, spurred its decision to fund indigenous companies in the oil and gas sector.

He stated: 'Diamond Bank is committed to supporting the Nigerian Content Policy and we will continue to do that.  Addasa marine is an indigenous company which is also committed to Nigerian content and we are delighted to be supporting such an indigenous company. Under water diving capacity requires a lot of skill.

'We are the lead supporters of marine logistics in Nigeria and we are happy to help the company. It is not just a milestone for this company, but a milestone for the Nigerian content. We believe that this is just the beginning.  This support will increase employment generation in the country most especially to Nigeria divers.

'This financing of this from Diamond Bank is around $30 million and it is structured in a manner that gives them ample time to pay back.  I think it required a great amount of creativity to put this together. We have been able to put structured together to accommodate such financing and it is for five years'.

Egube disclosed that the bank has said that the bank has put together about $1bn (N150bn).

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it will be recalled that the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Ernest Nwapa, had recently said the Nigerian economy lost over $100bn in five decades to foreign owned vessels that have been lifting crude oil from the country.

He lamented that this was because many indigenous companies refused to invest in the marine sector.

He, however, expressed happiness that the trend began to change with the implementation of the Nigerian Content Act signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan.

He stated: ' Funding will remain a challenge in the oil and gas sector.  Our Local Content fund will go a long way to support indigenous oil and gas firms facing funding challenges. This fund will give the banks confidence to release funds and reduce interest on loan.  The banks are already modeling their transaction around that loan.  We have over $10 million so far'.