Nigeria-Morocco 7,000km gas pipeline project kicks off, as NNPC, ONYHM, ECOWAS sign tripartite agreement 

 

Oredola Adeola

The National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines), and the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) Commission have finally signed a tripartite agreement for the take-off of the 7,000km long gas pipeline project.

This was revealed on Thursday when the parties met in Morocco to execute the Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) which is a significant step towards fulfilling the Nigerian Government’s drive towards harnessing Nigeria’s abundant gas resources.

The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline was proposed in a December 2016 agreement between the NNPC and the Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines).

The Federal Executive Council(FEC) had in June authorised the NNPC Ltd to enter into an agreement with ECOWAS for the construction of the pipeline.

The NNPCL in a statement obtained by EnergyDay said that the gas pipeline, designed to be 7,000km long, will originate from Brass Island in southern Bayelsa State(Nigeria) and terminate at North Morocco, from where it will be connected to the existing Maghreb European Pipeline (MEP) that originates from Algeria (via Morocco), all the way to Spain.

The project is expected to reduce gas flaring in Nigeria and encourage the diversification of energy resources in the country while cutting down poverty through the creation of more job opportunities. It will further encourage utilisation of gas in the sub-region for cooking, and discourage desertification.

According to NNPC, once the project is completed, the project will supply about three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (3bscfd) along the West African Coast from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania to Morocco.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, in his remark on the signing ceremony, described the development as a very important milestone in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project in which all the key stakeholders in the project have come together to reaffirm their commitment to delivering on the project.

Mr. Kyari said the project will also create wealth, and improve the standard of living of people in countries in the African region.

“Some of the benefits include the creation of wealth and improvement in the standard of living, integration of the economies within the region, mitigation against desertification, and other benefits that will accrue as a result of a reduction in carbon emission,” he said.

Kyari also revealed that NNPC Ltd will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station for the pipeline to be deployed in Nigeria which is among the thirteen stations earmarked along the pipeline route.

“NNPC is well-positioned to progress the project by leveraging its experience and technical capabilities ranging from gas production, processing, transmission and marketing as well as its vast experience in executing major gas infrastructure projects in Nigeria,” Mr Kyari said.

He said the government of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco stand to benefit immeasurably from the execution of the project which extends beyond the supply of gas to energize the countries along the route.

EnergyDay further gathered through the NNPC Ltd statement that the tripartite agreement was signed by Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd(Nigeria), while Dr. Amina Benkhadra, Director General of Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons & Mines (ONHYM) signed on behalf of her country. Mr. Sediko Douka, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization signed on behalf of the sub-regional organisation.