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New DP World port and FPSO projects for Senegal

Port construction and offshore projects in Senegal will drive demand for new tugs in northwest Africa for years to come

According to reports from the UAE, DP World has agreed to construct a new port and economic zone near Dakar, Senegal. It plans to turn Port de Futur into a multi-purpose port and logistics gateway with a container terminal to accommodate ultra-large container ships and a logistics hub for northwest Africa.

The new container terminal will have capacity of around 1M TEU per year and will be located adjacent to Senegal’s new Blaise Diagne International Airport.

DP World group chairman and chief executive Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem signed a deal with Senegal president Macky Sall in February 2020, according to news reports.

Mr bin Sulayem expects Dakar will become a “great aggregator of cargo, creating a hub for African exporters and importers”.

Tugs will be required to assist ultra-large container ships at the new terminal, to escort them into and out of the port and manoeuvre them into and out of their berths. At similar terminals, up to five tugs are required to support ship operations, more if other port infrastructure is built for liquids and bulk cargoes.

BP plans to install a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility and a floating LNG plant for its Greater Tortue Ahmeyim project. Hydrocarbons will be produced from ultra-deepwater wells and through a subsea system to an FPSO where liquids will be removed for export. Methane gas will be piped to a floating LNG facility at a nearshore hub located on the Mauritania and Senegal maritime border.

Tugs will be required to escort and handle LNG carriers, while support vessels will be required during construction of the offshore facilities.

At onshore LNG terminals at least three escort-class tugs are required to support LNG carriers and another for emergency support.

In addition, Woodside has started work on the Sangomar offshore oil project by contracting Modec to provide an FPSO and Sofec to deliver an external mooring tower. These will be located around 100 km from Dakar. Support vessels will be required during the construction phase and supporting operations including tanker loadings at the FPSO.