Leo building a 'new city' in Nigeria

A DROGHEDA man is the brains behind a company which has just been awarded a multi-million euro contract to rebuild the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

Leo Silke is the CEO of Ligrenco Group, a green energy company which has secured a major new contract for a phased building works programme in the Southern Nigerian city. The first phase of the project will include 950 apartments, a shopping mall, a hospital and clinic, private university, hotel, business centre, swimming pool a school and associated play areas.

The development, which will be funded through a mixture of government and private investment, will cost in the region of €100m and will take up to ten years to complete.

‘It is a huge building project because the current city of Port Harcourt is completely unsuitable’ said Mr Silke.

‘ It involves rebuilding everything from scratch and it will essentially be a completely new city.

The current city will slowly be demolished as and when the ‘ new city’ development is at advanced stages of progress to completion by Ligrenco Group Nigeria Ltd.’

Mr Silke has strong links with Africa having spent six years working there previously and has developed strong business links in Nigeria.

As a result of problems with intermittent electric power cuts in the area, the company are currently at an advanced stage of design to provide green energy power throughout the project ensuring that all facilities with the project area have a full and constant energy supply.

‘I am currently at the advanced stage of agreement with a leading German Company who specialise in this type of Green Energy design an instalation developments worldwide,’ said Mr Silke, from the Dublin Road. ‘ There are huge problems with power in Nigeria so green energy is the perfect solution to that.

Investment in the €100m project will come from the UK, Eastern Europe and Asia but Mr Silke said he would also welcome discussions with investors from Ireland who may be interested in the project.

Ligrenco have previously been involved in similar projects using green energy in Romania and Nigeria. ‘I am also active in the country’s capital Abuja where I am in early negotiations with the state about a number of projects including infrastructure, schools, clinics a hospital and two hotels, which are all due to start in mid-2012.’

He said the project is expected to move forward at the start of January, once the final investment for the project is secured, and work on the first phase is expected to take five years.

More than 700 people will be employed during the planning and construction of the development.

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