The trade partnership between Nigeria and South Korea was boosted recently as the latter won the bid to build LPG tanks in a contract worth N20.9 billion ($58 million) in Nigeria.
According to the report, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., the world’s largest shipbuilder by sales, said it received an order for the amount to build 15 bullet tanks for storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for Dangote Oil Refining Company, Africa’s largest refinery, beginning in April 2019.
Hyundai Heavy said it was set to deliver the 15 cylindrical tanks – each being eight meters in diameter and 95 meters in length, which can hold 75,000 cubic meters of LPG. The project is expected to further boost the bilateral trade volume between Nigeria and South Korea that was put at $9.9 billion (N3.02 trillion) last year.
The Nigeria Charge De ‘Affairs to the country, Lazarus Basaba, had disclosed the trade position last year during Nigeria’s organised investment forum at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecoms World 2017 conference and exhibition.
Early in 2017, the Asian country had expressed concern over the sharp decline in the volume of the country’s bilateral trade with Nigeria, saying the drop was due to investors’ loss of confidence following the revocation of the Korean National Oil Company (KNOC) oil blocs’ issue, OPL 321 and 323.
The trade volume between both countries stood at $1.8 billion in 2015, representing a decrease of $2.7 billion from the previous year, which was $4.5 billion, according to the country’s Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs, Ambassador Jongmoon Choi.
“The trade volume between the two countries was about four billion dollars in 2013 and in 2014 it was about 4.5 billion dollars. This was higher, but unfortunately, our trade volume has been a bit slide back, which concerns us,” he said.
He noted that in 2005, KNOC won bid for two oil prospecting licences under a concessionary agreement in exchange for strategic investments worth seven billion dollars in power, gas pipelines, fertiliser, railway modernisation and construction of shipyard.
“However, in 2009, the KNOC oil blocs were revoked and have since become a litigation issue,” he said.
He stressed the need for a resolution of the KNOC’s oil blocs and appealed for Mr President’s intervention.
Other factors, Choi said, was due to outstanding loan repayment of 15.4 million dollars owed Korean Government Economic Development Fund since 2001 for purchase of coaches and modernisation of locomotives. The minister, who stressed the need to revitalise the trade ties, reiterated South Korea’s determination to increase investments in Nigeria, which, he said, stood at about $500 million.
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