Nigeria’s Gas Minister, Ekperikpe Ekpo has scheduled Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline construction for 2024.
He said this while receiving a delegation of envoys from the Kingdom of Morocco led by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma on Monday, November 27 in Abuja.
According to him, Nigeria is ready and interested in the project. The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project is a critical infrastructure that spans across 5,600 kilometres, cutting through 13 African countries: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco.
Once finished, it will transport gas from Nigeria to various West African nations, linking through Morocco and extending to Europe. Back in September 2023, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) highlighted multiple advantages of the pipeline, emphasizing its potential to create wealth, elevate living standards, boost regional economic integration, combat desertification, and notably reduce carbon emissions.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPCL, Mele Kyari, stressed the company’s commitment to ensuring a consistent gas supply. They will also facilitate necessary infrastructure, like the initial compressor station located in Nigeria.
The pipeline’s journey begins at Brass Island in Nigeria and extends to the northern region of Morocco. There, it will connect with the existing Maghreb European Pipeline originating from Algeria and extending to Spain.
While receiving the Moroccan Ambassador to Nigeria, on Monday, Ekpo said:
Meanwhile, some analysts have said that the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is not a viable project due to a few factors:
First off, the project has experienced several delays over the years.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project was signed in December 2016 and June 2018 with no viable decision or action before it was eventually signed again on September 15, 2022.
Earlier in the year in April, oil and gas analyst, Dan D Kunle, told ThePressNG that the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project lacks economic viability in Nigeria’s current gas industry landscape.
According to him, the country needs comprehensive studies from top global financial institutions to assess its economic impact, financial returns for Nigeria, and agreements with countries the pipeline crosses.
He said that without proper technical and financial evaluations, funding for the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline remains uncertain.
Meanwhile, Kyari had noted in the same month, that there is a clear line of sight in securing funding for the project.
At that time, Kunle went on to suggest that rather than the pipeline, Nigeria and Morocco should consider investing in LNG plants, regasification facilities in Moroccan ports, and LNG vessel carriers.
This approach offers more flexibility, access to diverse markets, and potential for broader trade in liquid fuels than a pipeline restricted to specific routes.
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