Nigeria to enter agreement with ECOWAS for Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline

Nigeria to enter agreement with ECOWAS for Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) under the Nigerian Presidency has authorized the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to enter into an agreement with ECOWAS for the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, informed State House officials of the decision after the FEC meeting, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, June 1, at the Presidential Palace in Abuja.

According to Nigeria’s official news agency NAN, Timipre Sylva said the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline project was still at the initial engineering design stage, after which the projected cost of the project would be determined.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources presented three memos to the Council. In the first memo, the Council authorized NNPC Ltd to sign a memorandum of understanding with ECOWAS for the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline. This pipeline should supply 15 countries in West Africa with Nigerian gas, up to Morocco and, via the Kingdom, to Spain and Europe, he said.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI, in December 2016 to Abuja, and a related agreement had been signed, on June 10, 2018, during a visit to Rabat of the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari. The project’s feasibility study was started in May 2017.

The project is the subject of an agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM).

The pipeline would connect Nigerian gas to all West African coastal countries, namely Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania, ending in Tangier, Morocco and Cadiz, Spain.

At the end of last April, it was announced that the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) would contribute $14.3 to the funding of the second phase of the Front-End Engineering Study (FEED) of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project.

The legal documentation relating to the $14.3 million financing granted by the OPEC Fund to the ONHYM had been signed by Economy and Finance Minister Nadia Fettah, alongside OPEC Managing Director, Abdulhamid Al khalifa, and ONHYM Managing Director, Amina Benkhadra.

Through its support for this project, a model of South-South cooperation, OPEC Fund strengthens its financial cooperation relations with Morocco and contributes to the economic and social dynamics of the Kingdom.

The study, ahead of the construction of the world’s longest offshore pipeline connecting Nigeria to Morocco, is co-funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The study consists in preparing the documentation for the implementation of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project and in finalizing the related technical, financial and legal analyses.

The 7,000-kilometer-long pipeline, crossing territorial waters of 13 countries, is intended to be a catalyst for the economic development of the North-West African region. It carries a strong desire to integrate and improve the competitiveness and economic and social development of the region.

It also aims to boost the regional economy through the promotion of economic development in North West Africa, the development of job-generating industries, the reduction of gas “flaring” and the use of reliable and sustainable energy.

Last February, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed, during a phone call with King Mohammed VI, his country’s determination to carry out the pipeline project as soon as possible.

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