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$25bn Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline gains momentum

Morocco’s energy minister Leila Benali said work is underway to determine the best route for the Nigeria pipeline World Bank/Riccardo Savi
Morocco’s energy minister Leila Benali said work is underway to determine the best route for the Nigeria pipeline

Morocco’s energy minister has said studies on a $25 billion gas pipeline with Nigeria, which will be backed by investment from the UAE, are almost finished.

Work is underway to determine the best route for the pipeline, Morocco World News, a daily news outlet, reported, quoting Leila Benali.

The front-end engineering design (Feed) studies cover the project’s scope, budget, schedule and risk assessment, providing guidance for detailed engineering and construction.

She added that evaluation and field studies, as well as environmental and social impact assessments, on the project are being conducted.

Morocco, Senegal and Mauritania will participate in the first phase of the three-phase mega pipeline project, the report said.

Planned in 2016, the project — set to be the second-longest pipeline in the world — has seen Morocco and Nigeria sign numerous agreements in the past two years.

The pipeline will span 5,600 km and cross 13 African countries, addressing the energy needs of 400 million people along the West African coast.

The mega project is expected to have an annual transportation capacity of 30 billion cubic metres, six times more than Morocco’s annual gas consumption, the minister said.

In January, state-backed Nigerian National Petroleum Company said talks to deliver Nigerian gas to Morocco and Europe have intensified.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest gas producer.

The project has 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 1,700 km gas connection from Dhakia to northern Morocco, eventually linking Nigeria to Europe.

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