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Nigeria and Morocco renew focus on gas pipeline project

Morocco's minister of energy transition Leila Benali. The country hopes to produce half of its electricity from renewables by 2030, with the remainder coming from natural gas World Economic Forum/Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary
Morocco's minister of energy transition Leila Benali. The country hopes to produce half of its electricity from renewables by 2030, with the remainder coming from natural gas
  • Talks on completing FID
  • Gas for 13 African nations
  • Eventual link to Europe

Talks to deliver Nigerian gas to Morocco and Europe have intensified, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company said in a press release published on its website.

The discussions are focused on how to accelerate the financial investment decision for the pipeline project in line with the series of memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries in Abuja in 2022, Olufemi Soneye, a spokesman for NNPCL, added.

Nigeria’s energy minister Ekperikpe Ekpo announced last November that construction would start in 2024. 

First conceived in 2016, the $25 billion, 5,600 km Nigeria-Morocco pipeline promises to cover the energy needs of 400 million people in Africa by connecting Nigerian gas to 13 countries along the Atlantic coast.

It is also set to play a significant role in Morocco’s energy security. Annual natural gas consumption in the country is estimated at around 1 billion cubic metres. Morocco’s reserves total 39 billion cubic metres of gas, according to Global Energy Monitor, while it produces only 100 million cubic metres.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest gas producer.

While Rabat plans to produce more than half of its electricity from renewables before 2030, the remainder will come mainly from natural gas.

The kingdom has been importing gas via the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline from Spain, following the deterioration of relations with neighbouring Algeria over Western Sahara.

The Morocco-Nigeria pipeline would allow Morocco to bypass Algeria.

The project has recently gained some traction among investors. Abu Dhabi and Morocco signed an investment cooperation agreement last December, and the UAE will participate financially and technically in the pipeline’s development.

The plan received support from the Islamic Development Bank and the Opec Fund for International Development.

In addition to the African pipeline, there will be a 1,700km gas connection from Dhakia to northern Morocco, eventually linking Nigeria to Europe.

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