Home » Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline: A Game-Changer for West Africa’s Energy Future

Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline: A Game-Changer for West Africa’s Energy Future

The $25 billion project will deliver natural gas from Nigeria to 13 countries in West and North Africa, as well as Europe.

by Motoni Olodun

The ambitious Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project is gaining momentum as Morocco and Senegal pledge their support for its early completion. The NMGP is a 5,660-kilometre regional onshore and offshore gas pipeline that aims to deliver natural gas resources from Nigeria to 13 countries in West and North Africa, as well as Europe.

The project, which is estimated to cost $25 billion, was initiated in 2016 following an agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Moroccan Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM). It is expected to bring more than 5,000 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Morocco, where it will be connected to the Maghreb Europe Gas Pipeline (GME) and the European gas network.

The NMGP is seen as a strategic partnership between Nigeria and Morocco to foster regional integration, economic development, and energy security. It will also benefit the landlocked states of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which currently lack access to reliable and affordable energy sources.

According to a joint statement issued on Thursday, Senegal’s minister of Petroleum and Energies Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome reiterated his country’s support for the NMGP during a meeting with the director-general of ONHYM Amina Benkhadra in Dakar. The statement said that the meeting confirmed the commitment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and all the countries involved to contribute to the feasibility of the project.

The NMGP is part of Nigeria’s “Decade of Gas Master Plan”, launched in 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, to boost Nigeria’s gas production and exports. Nigeria has the largest proven gas reserves in Africa and the ninth-largest in the world, but most of its gas is flared or re-injected due to a lack of infrastructure and domestic demand.

The NMGP is also in line with Morocco’s vision to diversify its energy mix and reduce its dependence on foreign supplies. Morocco, which imports more than 90% of its energy needs, has been investing heavily in renewable energy projects, such as solar and wind farms, as well as exploring its offshore gas potential.

The NMGP has been hailed as a game-changer for West Africa’s energy future by various experts and stakeholders. It is expected to create thousands of jobs, stimulate industrial development, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also enhance regional cooperation and stability, as well as counter the influence of rival projects, such as the Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP), which plans to transport Nigerian gas to Europe via Niger and Algeria.

The NMGP is currently undergoing a feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The construction of the pipeline will be done in phases over 25 years, with the first phase covering Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and Ghana. The project has also received support from international organizations, such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

The NMGP is a testament to the strong bilateral relations between Nigeria and Morocco, which have been strengthened by several agreements and initiatives in various sectors, such as agriculture, fertilizer production, and phosphate mining. The two countries share a common vision of promoting South-South cooperation and African development.

As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, the NMGP offers a unique opportunity for West Africa to harness its abundant natural gas resources and meet its growing energy needs. It is a project that promises to transform the region’s energy landscape and pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future.

Source: All Africa


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