CMA CGM Group has signed a memorandum of agreement with Nigeria’s Lekki Deep Sea Port promoter Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE) to operate the future container terminal of the port.

Under the agreement, CMA CGM, through its subsidiary CMA Terminals, will look after the marketing, operations and maintenance of the container terminal at Lekki Deep Sea Port.

By operating the terminal, the group aims to fulfil its development strategy in the region and reduce congestion in the Nigerian port of Lagos.

The proposed terminal at Lekki Port will also enable the company to expand its presence into West Africa’s first consumer market and will serve as a transhipment hub, especially to neighbouring countries, including Togo and Benin.

Following completion, the 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) terminal will feature a 1,200m long quay and 13 quay cranes.

Featuring a depth of 16m, the terminal will be able to handle ships with a capacity of up to 14,000 TEUs. It is expected to begin operations by the end of 2020.

“Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger container ships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers.”

CMA CGM Group executive officer Farid Salem said: “As Nigeria’s first deep sea port, Lekki Port represents a strategic choice for the CMA CGM Group.

“Thanks to its position and capacity, Lekki Port will allow us to bring to Nigeria larger container ships from Europe and Asia to better serve our customers and pursue our commitment to the development of the entire region.

“With CMA CGM’s unique service offering and expertise combined with our logistics and inland services, our presence in Lekki Port will benefit the entire Nigerian supply chain and market, as well as neighbouring countries.”

Once developed, Lekki Deep Sea Port will be operated by a joint venture LPLE, which is led by Tolaram Group, Lagos State Government, and Nigerian Ports Authority.

LPLE will also be involved in the construction of the port, which is expected to be completed by 2020 with two container berths.