Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline to start construction in 2024

Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline to start construction in 2024

Imagen de gasoducto - PHOTO/REUTERS
PHOTO/REUTERS - Pipeline image

One of the most ambitious and coveted projects on the African continent already has a construction start date. The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) will begin construction in 2024, according to the Nigerian Minister of Energy, Ekperikpe Ekpo. The official announcement of the timeline comes on the heels of the Nigerian minister's meeting with a Moroccan delegation led by the Alawi ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma, on Monday last week in Abuja.

The idea is for the NMGP to become the second longest gas pipeline in the world, with a length of more than 5,600 kilometres. The first outline of the megaproject, carried out in 2016, envisaged a pipeline crossing up to 13 African countries, which could cover the needs of 400 million Africans along the continent's west coast. Following the signing of the agreement with Morocco in December 2021, work is expected to begin early next year.

PHOTO/FILE - Gasoducto
PHOTO/FILE - Gas pipeline

Moreover, this project, approved by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), is financed by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). So far, this investment has been used to pay for the feasibility study or Front-End Engineering Design (FEED). In addition, just over a year ago, the chief executive of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Mele Kyari, said that a final decision on the $25 billion investment needed to finance the project would be taken in 2023.

Nigeria, as Africa's largest gas power, sees this opportunity as "strategic and successful for all West African countries. A plan for peace, African economic integration and co-development that will be for present and future generations". And if it is going to have great benefits within the continent itself, the idea is that its impact will also reach the Old Continent through the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline. Morocco will host 1,672 kilometres of gas pipeline, which will be of great benefit to Portugal and Spain, which could also distance itself from its dependence on Algerian gas.

AFP/PHILIP OJISUA - File photo, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with Morocco's King Mohamed VI

For this reason, Abuja sees the project as an initiative that will boost the socio-economic growth of his country and the continent. Its implementation alone will bring many jobs and, at the same time, large investors who see this project as a very good opportunity. And despite the doubts that arose around the pipeline and its financing, the CEO of NNPC assured that "the world needs gas and they will finance it, we have substantial indications of closure around the financing", as has finally been the case.