Written by 12:30 am Economy

Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline inches forward though investment decision delayed

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The ambitious Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline project is progressing, but the final green light on investment won’t come until next year, the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Minerals (ONHYM) tells Hespress. 

Moroccan authorities recently confirmed that onshore surveys are underway to assess the environmental and social impact of the pipeline. These studies could lead to minor adjustments to the planned route.

The decision to delay the investment decision until 2025 is standard procedure for large-scale infrastructure projects. 

Officials need to finalize technical, financial, commercial, and political aspects before committing.

Despite the delay, there’s positive movement. Detailed engineering studies are complete, and negotiations with countries along the pipeline’s path are progressing well.

When asked by Hespress if the delay in the final investment decision would impact the creation of a Moroccan-Nigerian joint venture planned for this year, the Office said  that the project is moving forward according to international standards. 

The same source added that all procedures are underway, and they don’t anticipate any setbacks in completing these activities. 

This project is a major undertaking. The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline will extend along the West African coast from Nigeria, passing through Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania to Morocco, where it will be connected to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline and the European gas network.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco had said, in a speech delivered on the occasion of the 15th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, that “the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline project draws on the same spirit of solidarity, as it is a project for regional integration, joint economic take-off and to encourage development dynamics on the Atlantic coast.”

It is worth noting that King Mohammed VI made a phone call to Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu in January of this year, which included the subject of the gas pipeline between Rabat and Abuja.

Mele Kyari, CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group, confirmed on Tuesday that “Abuja will take the final investment decision on the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project by the end of this year.”

The project is expected to be operational by 2030, creating jobs and boosting economies across the continent.

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