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Nigeria LNG port blockaded

LNG Industry,

Nigeria LNG’s (NLNG) export terminal in the Bonny Chanel has been blockaded by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) since Friday June 21st and as of yesterday the port was still blockaded. NIMASA has deployed two boats to block the port and stopped the NLNG Vessel, LNG Oyo, from entering the Bonny Channel, whilst simultaneously blocking the NLNG vessel, LNG Imo, and one chartered vessel, Torm Thames, from leaving the loading bay.

NIMASA issued Ship Detention Orders on 22nd June 2013, specifically detaining three NLNG ships (LNG Enugu, LNG Oyo, LNG Imo) and barring them from accessing or leaving the NLNG’s loading bay.

The port has been blockaded over a long-standing dispute over payment of maritime taxes and this is the second time such a blockade has taken place, on May 3rd 2013, NIMASA also blocked theport to LNG vessels. At the time the company said it paid US$ 20 million in taxes under protest to NIMASA at the government’s insistence, and took the matter to court to clarfiy the situation.

NIMASA has stated that the blockade is contrary to a court injunction it secured on June 18 which bars, “NIMASA, from imposing any charges or taking any steps to block, detain or prevent access by the company’s owned or chartered vessels, whether inbound or outbound from Bonny channel or elsewhere in Nigeria.”

Written by Peter Farrell.

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