Abuja, Nov.28, 2023 (NAN) The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, says the construction of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project which aims to link the European market is expected to begin in 2024.
Under this project, Gas is expected to be transported through the participating countries, including Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco.
Ekpo, while receiving a delegation of envoys from the Kingdom of Morocco led by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Moha Ou Ali Tagma on Monday in Abuja, said Nigeria was ready and interested in the project.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegation visited the minister for a bilateral discussion on cooperation and commitment towards finalising the Trans-Atlantic pipeline project and also on the development of its fertiliser plant in Nigeria.
Recall that the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Project has advanced with the signing of four Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) in June 2023 to ensure progress and strategic direction of the 25 billion dollars Trans-Atlantic project.
MoUs were signed between the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd), Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) of Morocco and the Société Nationale des Opérations Pétrolières of Cote d’Ivoire (PETROCI) among others.
Once completed, the project will enhance the monetisation of the natural gas resources of the affected African countries and also offer a new alternative export route to Europe.
Ekpo, while expressing Nigeria’s interest and readiness, said with its position of 209 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves, there was a need to supply gas to the continent before exporting to other continents.
“I believe by 2024 we will conclude on it. Your company has been in contact with the NNPC Ltd and I have been receiving briefs. We also talked about it during the meeting of West African Gas Pipeline Committee Parties.
“For the fact that the pipeline existing within that corridor currently is 20 inches; there is a proposal to increase the size after Togo to 46 inches so that the flow will be large enough.
“Currently the world is talking about climate change and natural gas is the sure way to go with low carbon emission so we have to be serious about utilisation of gas for prosperity.
On the fertiliser project of the country, he said with the era of natural gas and components used to boost fertiliser industries, all the value chain should be exploited.
Earlier, the Moroccan Ambassador described the project which started in 2016 as the most important in Africa aimed at exporting gas to Europe, adding that between 2016 and 2023 many meetings and MoUs signing had been held.
Tagma said the economic and technical studies being conducted on the project would be concluded early 2024, adding that the participating governments could decide to start its construction in 2024.
“The objective of this project is not to transport gas only but also to offer some opportunities for development of the countries between Nigeria and Morocco for supplying energy,’’ he said.
The ambassador disclosed that its OCP Group, (formerly Office Chérifien des Phosphates), the most exporter of fertiliser in the world had inaugurated plants in Kaduna, Sokoto and Ogun states, then currently opening in Akwa Ibom.
He said the construction of the 1.5 billion dollars fertiliser plant project in Akwa Ibom would commence in December, adding that it would spur investments.