Construction of Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline begins

Construction of Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline begins

Construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline has commenced. Chief Operating Officer of the gas and power of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Yusuf Usman announced the start of the project.

The pipeline project falls in line with the “Decade of Gas Master Plan” that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari launched in 2020, which seeks to bolster Nigeria’s gas production and gas exports despite a global transition to clean energy.

The pipeline project is expected to be mutually beneficial for Morocco, Nigeria, and a slew of countries along the pipeline’s route in West Africa. The pipeline will pass through West African countries such as Benin, Tago, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, and into Morocco.

Read:Construction Begins on Nigeria Train 7 LNG project

Transition to cleaner fuels

Before Morocco secured the deal with Nigeria, the NNPC had considered building the Trans-Saharan pipeline since the 1970s. The original plan would extend from Nigeria and into Algeria. Nigeria was however hesitant to extend the pipeline into Algeria, citing security concerns due to terrorism and political instability.

In 2019, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is an economic trade bloc that Morocco applied to join in 2017, supported the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline over the Trans-Saharan pipeline project.

Oil contributes around half of the government’s revenue and most of its foreign exchange receipts making Nigeria one of the countries most susceptible to the global transition to cleaner fuels. According to Global Energy Monitor, the US $25bn would take 25 years to complete, although Usman’s statements suggest an earlier completion date.

On the Moroccan side, this landmark project is part of the South-South cooperation upheld by King Mohammed VI. It is expected to create a competitive regional power market and benefit all West African people, countries and their economies. The project sets to add into Morocco’s growing list of African trade deals, securing its position as an African economic leader.