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A&O advises on Lekki Port - Nigeria’s first deep sea port

 

29 October 2019

LONDON: Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) has signed a USD629 million loan from China Development Bank (CDB) for the development of the first major part of Lekki deep sea port in Lagos State, Nigeria. LPLEL is owned by Singaporean conglomerate Tolaram Group and (subject to completion of its equity investment) China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC). 


Lekki port is being developed by LPLEL under a concession agreement from the Nigerian Ports Authority signed in 2011 and will be one of the most modern ports in West Africa when it is built. The port will have separate container, dry bulk and liquids terminals.

The CDB loan will enable the construction of the port’s container terminal, which will initially have two berths and an annual handling capacity of up to 1.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), and is expected to expand to three berths and 2.7 million TEU annual handling capacity. The container terminal is being constructed by CHEC and will, when completed, be operated by the French shipping giant CMA CGM under a bespoke sub-concession arrangement. Operations are expected to start in 2022.  

Allen & Overy has advised LPLEL in relation to the financing, the construction and the sub-concession arrangements for the container terminal referred to above, as well as the corporate aspects relating to CHEC’s equity investment. 

A&O lead partner Tim Scales commented: "This is a significant milestone in the development of a landmark project for Nigeria, in which we’re very proud to have been involved.  It’s been exciting to work with an A&O team comprising projects specialists based in London, Beijing and Tokyo, operating on a fully integrated, seamless basis.  Much of the discussion and negotiation has been conducted in Chinese, and it’s a testament to the strength and depth of our China team to have managed a financing of this scale and complexity so smoothly."

The A&O team comprised partner Tim Scales, counsels Eleanor Milne and Steve Dejong, senior associate Tom Lindley, associate Peter Tolson, head of India desk Jaya Gupta and associate Has Bharj in London, partner Yvonne Ho in Beijing, and senior associate Xue Wang and associate Jiran (Mieke) Liu in Tokyo.

Other advisers involved include Templars, Marsh and Louis Berger (for LPLEL), Linklaters, Aluko & Oyebode and AON (for CDB) and Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie (for CMA CGM).

For further information, please contact Susanna Robinson, susanna.robinson@allenovery.com on +44 (0)20 3088 3918. 

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